Thoughts on Chatroulette

Ships that pass or crash in the night or the possibilty of playing with random internet chat roulette sites as a creative platform...
Looking for good people on chatroulette is like looking for a needle in a haystack.

The world of "chatroulette" and its mutations, is a website that pairs random strangers from around the world together for webcam- based conversations. Visitors to the website randomly begin an online chat (video, audio and text) with another visitor.

The "chatroulette" projects raises many questions in relation to privacy, intimacy, and public and private behaviour on-line. The anonymity of such direct communication with totally randomly chosen strangers makes me question on the most basic level how do people perceive you, and how do you perceive them.

The " chatroulette" is the most intrusive form of online communication that i know, it allows strangers into your direct and personal environment , and visa versa.

I think that because the contact between the two people is random and anonymous, and the chance of ever finding that person again in a global online population of 1,966,514,816 people,
( statistics from June 2010) is very slim. It allows a freedom, due to the anonymity, to communicate that you would not normally have in an every "real world" environment. The privacy of both partners is quite safe since the chances of ever meeting them again are so slim.

Is it social communication or just social exhibitionism ?

I wonder if and how you can create a bond with total strangers in such an environment, and to make them connect with you. As a purely visual experience, i think the whole idea of this random online chat scene is based on first visual impressions, much more directly them in normal real surrounding. In every day live when you meet a stranger who you may or may not connect with, you share a physical space, albeit for a moment.. which i think has an impact on both of you.. it takes time which is shared even to walk away from them, but with the online click of a " NEXT" button, nothing is actually shared apart a fleeting visual glance into the world of another personal environment..

Martin Butler