Entertaining Pianist on ChatRoulette
ChatRoulette is this decade's version of the very first online chat rooms of the 1990s. But rather than just a simple chat interface, it adds video to both ends of the conversation, and the ability to quickly move from one random conversation to the next.
Users sign in and are randomly directed to another user, with whom they can chat (both through video and text-based chat). The catch is, as soon as one member gets even a little bored, they can click "Next" and instantly be taken to a new random person. It seems that a lot of what happens is watching potential chat partners cycle by, until one stops long enough to say something.
I haven't tried this service myself, and so can't speak from experience, but ChatRoulette garners the same critiques and fears of children being exposed to unsavory characters (understandably) as the chat rooms of the 1990s did. But I like what danah boyd has to say about her experience:
ChatRoulette reminds me a lot of the quirkiness of the Internet that I grew up with. Like when I was a teen trolling through chatrooms, ChatRoulette is filled with all sorts of weird people. And most users ignore most other users until they find someone they find interesting or compelling â€¦
I realize that this creates the potential for seeing some pretty gross and/or problematic things and I certainly donâ€™t want to dismiss that, but Iâ€™m pretty certain that teens are responding the same way that Iâ€™m responding — by clicking Next. â€¦ Iâ€¦hope that we can create a space where teens and young adults and the rest of us can actually interact with randomness again. Thereâ€™s a cost to our social isolation and I fear that weâ€™re going to be paying it for generations to come.
I don't know how, or whether, ChatRoulette can improve theological education, or somehow improve upon face-to-face interactions. That's not the point of this post. Sometimes we just need a good laugh (Warning: Video contains a few curse words):
Hattip to Boing Boing for this video.