Sunday, February 07, 2010

Chat Roulette

Another take on Chat Roulette in this article titled Human Shuffle. The author describes his expectation as : an ecstatic surrender to the miraculous variety and abundance of humankind. He found out that there was some distance between expectation and reality : I hadn’t felt this socially trampled since I was an overweight 12-year-old struggling to get through recess without having my shoes mocked. It was total e-visceration. If this was the future of the Internet, then the future of the Internet obviously didn’t include me.

Anderson describes his whole scale rejection by random strangers of all stripes, a slightly better experience when he and a male friend went on Chat Roulette together and even more friendly reception when he went there with his wife. He gets to the heart of what is wrong with this mode of social interaction : The default interaction on ChatRoulette is roughly three seconds long: assessment, micro-interaction, "next." This might seem like yet another outrage of the Internet era—the Twitter-fication of face-to-face interaction. The results can be good or bad but they would always been in tiny chunks.

As with all things online, the goal is always to maximize - the number of friends, followers, interactions - or whatever the currency is for that particular application and experience. Obviously with high quantity comes compromise in quality. In Anderson's words : Eventually, I realized that clicking “next” was not so much a rejection as it was pure curiosity, like riding a train past an apartment building at night, looking briefly into as many lit windows as possible.

In the world of on-line dating, a lot of people find it impossible to stop looking and settle - there is always the possibility of meeting another person merely by clicking next, who is more perfect. The decision to move on is made a lot quicker online. The investment is very little to begin with so there is not much to lose. The nano-second interactions on Chat Roulette takes uncommitted, superficial social interaction to a new high. It will be interesting to see if this mode of unfiltered, unmoderated interaction catches on in the world of social media. In nature, entropy always increases until it nears maximum value near equilibrium. Maybe it is unnatural to try and limit chaos as in a well-ordered social network and Chat Roulette may be what all things sociall media will ulimately resemble.

A very well written article and definitely worth reading in it's entireity.


Joey said...

thats funny. I recommend all of you to see the best of :

Helen said...

Chat Roulette is freakin' crazy! Did you see Jesus on Chat Roulette?

Dadapatate said...

chatroulette is ok! FaceBuzz is better i think! It's faster, has a porn filter and other nice features! Go check it out!

alicojolico said...

Ha chat roulette is so fun/creepy!

Check out screen shots from my adventure!!

ttyl! said...

This is hilarious!