There is so much to say about Chatroulette….

OK. You all know how much I LOVED the Ben Folds Chatroulette video. Well, then I saw this. I think we need to really reconsider the issues of this new social community. I am totally mystified at how many people are laughing in this video.

Is it just me or is this problematic? Am I just too old to think this stuff is a good idea?

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18 thoughts on “There is so much to say about Chatroulette….

  1. Antonia Rutter says:

    I have more than a few problems with Chatroulette. I first came across it when my roommate showed it to me and a few of my friends thought it was hilarious, I wanted nothing to do with it, I didn’t even want her using it in our room. It just freaks me out, I dont get it, really just creeps me out. I have no desire to talk to random strangers and see them sitting in their house or whatever other creepy thing they are up to and feel validated by the fact they did or did not switch away from my connection right away.
    This video exemplifies my generations problem with narcissism, I think. First, there are the kids who are laughing, which is horrible, but I suppose they cant really do much else, I dont really know how Chatroulette works in that sense, like if they could report it or something. Plus I have had my fair share of awkward situations where I laugh because I am not sure what else to do. But what I have a problem with is the person who set this little “prank” up. They clearly find suicide funny; great, awesome, good for them, there are sick people out there who find enjoyment out of that, its a free country and a lot of people have senses of humor I just do not get. But obviously part of this site is to connect with others, so they are purposely putting this in other peoples faces.. I wonder if this prankster thought about the others viewing his careless joke, what if someone connected with them who has considered suicide themselves? or someone whose friend, family or loved one has committed suicide? How would that make THEM feel? What are the implication and consequences of their actions and effect on OTHERS? My generation is getting increasingly narcissistic, which I have thought for a while, especially fueled with the huge popularity of youtube, myspace, facebook, ect. Yes I do think that these social networking sites can be amazing tools used to benefit us, a girl in one of my classes apparently found her half sister in Canada through facebook, and with the internet we can expand our ability to learn about things we could have never done without them. However, when we stop using these sites to reach out to others and start using it for our own selfish wants, I think its time we not focus so much on the sites flaws, but on our own.

  2. Abby Eustance says:

    wow i cant believe people are actually laughing at that! thats horrible i think that if i saw that i would say something to someone and not just sit there and laugh i mean i know its not real but still i wouldnt laugh at it! chat roulette is really fun sometimes but sometimes its just disturbing. never do it alone! always have a friend with you haha because some of the people you get are pretty creepy!

  3. Becky says:

    I think this situation is similar to a lot of situations happening online with websites like facebook and myspace. Although there are people using this site for fun and using chat roulette for new ways to reach audiences like Ben Folds did, there are many problems with this. The fact that anyone would portray a suicide on this site is so shocking. And what is even more appalling is that people actually we laughing and that no one seemed to care enough that that could have possibly been a person instead of a mock hanging. Suicide related issues have come up often in the worlds of facebook and myspace. With more and more people using these sites as a tool to taunt, tease, bully, and exploit their enemies or even friends, these sites provide a place for anything to occur. What ends up happening is that people are so consumed with their online lives that even the slightest dig at someone via a comment or picture can trigger all sorts of upset. I think it is unfortunate that this video was made because it only allows for our society and generation to become more accustom to behaviors like this and I think it is extremely sad that collectively we are becoming more and more desensitized to issues that really call for sensitivity and respect. What if someone contemplating suicide had seen this video and seen the responses the video conjured. I can only imagine what some people may be thinking after seeing this video and that is very scary.

  4. Torie Solomon says:

    Ew this video is just disturbing. Just the idea that someone has the potential to show their suicide to hundreds of people, without them even knowing if it is real or not is just insane. I understand that most of this people think it’s fake, but I still don’t understand how you could have any other reaction than just plain shock or disgust. My favorite reaction though was the girl who was so shocked she even took off her sunglasses (because obviously a computer screen is just that bright.) I’ve been on chat roulette a few times with friends, and its pretty much just a combo of disgusting creepy men, drunken frat guys, pathetic girls who actually spend a significant amount of time putting on makeup for it and children who are definitely not 15…(although my friends are convinced that when we tried it out we chatted to Chris Brown..i think beer googles.) so its basically a recipe for disaster and a fad that i’m sure will shortly be replaced with some equally creepy way for creeps to congregate. The major problem I have with it is that there is no real verification for age. If drunken college kids want to go on..totally fine..just be prepared for what you will see. But the fact that a 12 year old can log on with absolutely no problem and see like 10 penises within 30 seconds or even someone hanging is kind of terrifying.

  5. Amaury Ramirez says:

    I don’t think it’s the age because I don’t think that’s funny. That’s really scary; I mean when you chat there isn’t really anything about it you can do. Since you don’t know who they are, but one can’t possibly enjoy someone being swinging—making the impression he has committed suicide. I noticed there was trend, most of the women stared in awe while some of the man laughed.

    It could be that those individuals that laughed figured it was a joke. Or it could be that there are some heartless individuals in this world.

    I searched for more of them and they are pretty ridiculous. Some of them are funny but most are really scary. There is one where it’s called the chat roulette killer. A girl gets killed by someone wearing a mask. If I didn’t know it was a joke, I’d be really scared.
    To be honest chat roulette is a waste of time. Whenever you get on the site, you have to worry about men with the private part out. You just go by it at first, but then it starts to get annoying.
    Websites that become popular usually lose its popularity because of the mal-use of it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think this video is so much a reflection of growing sense of narcissism in my generation (generation next) but more so reflects what does and what does not shock society. I showed this to my mother and she was appalled. Although I do not think that it is right to fake a suicide for humors’ sake, I was not shocked, disturbed, or humored by this video. The majority of the chatters laughed at this-maybe because it was obviously fake? I don’t know, the image I saw was too small to really tell if it was real or not. I think that the more popular social networking/connection sites become the more we will see stunts like this. Although I do not know the creators intentions it seems to purely be done for shock value

  7. Chris says:

    I did something like this on chatroulette on an early Friday night. I held my wrist up to the camera and with my other hand held a knife to it. I think Tom was there but my other friends were there typing. I asked people if I should do it. Saying “should i do it?”, “well be famous”, “this isn’t funny!” We were obviously joking and just seeing what kind of reactions we would get. I would say 85 percent of the time people told me I should cut my wrist. When they said I should my friend hand would come in with a bottle of hienz ketchup and pretended to pour it on my wrist while I pretended to cut myself. This would get people laughing but most of the people were already laughing at the sight of a knife to my wrist. Chatroulette is bizarre and it reveals some interesting behaviors about people.

  8. Tom Michaud says:

    I think you are just too old. haha just kidding. but I mean this is like the guy who dresses up for halloween as a scarecrow and sits on a bench and scares people. its funny because of how shocking it is. and frankly I’ve seen way too many dicks on chatroulette to be phased by a pair of dangling legs. I know suicide is a cry out for attention and help, but i really dont think anyone would do it on a global entity like chatroulette. And most of the people on the site dont even go it to have real conversations with people. Most just want to see what they’ve heard so much about. Which turns out to mostly be a lot of penis. I think the fact that people masturbate on chatroulette is more disturbing than a pair of dangling feet. And also, what does it say about the people who go on knowing they are going to see about a bajillion one-eyed yogurt slingers? What is with our cultural phallic obsession?

  9. sth2391 says:

    You’re definitely not too old. Personally, I found this video incredibly disturbing. This might be partly because I recently watched a documentary on a 15 year old boy who committed suicide. His family videotaped his whole life and at the age of 5, he was having thoughts about suicide, and it was just completely depressing. In any case, people should never joke about suicide. I get that chatroulette is a total joke, but let’s laugh about something other than that topic please.

  10. I don’t know how I missed this, but I honestly did not know about Chatroulette before this class. Before, I thought it was creepy to have chat rooms where you could talk to random people through the internet but now this! I am not sure if this is more or less creepy, because at least you can see the person that you are talking to on this source! I would like to know who came up with the idea of having a site with these features.

    But anyway, this video is very funny! It is a great idea to have this during the concert because I am sure that no one else has ever had this idea. I cannot image being the person on the other end of the chat who ended up being shown on the big screen at a Ben Folds concert! This also demonstrates that Ben Folds has great talent because he is able to develop a song based on what he sees on the screen on the spot during a concert.

    In general, I love concerts and by incorporating this idea in his concert, he made a more intimate setting which is definitely a plus for the people in attendance. Not only was he able to show his skills as a performer, but he has also was able to incorporate humor in the concert, including a fad in which many people participate in the United States. He seems to poke fun at the concept, by saying things about “the shirtless man,” which as I have been told is a common occurrence on the site. Overall, this video was great!

  11. Kat Copeland says:

    I think the idea behind chatroulette is interesting, but it is ruined by old/young pervy people. The people who ruin it are the ones who turn it into a porn website. I guess it should have been obvious at the beginning that something like this would happen, but I just really don’t think it is necessary. Other then that the idea of seeing people and meeting them is kind of cool. What I really like is what Ben Folds did during his concert. He uses chatroulette and makes up songs during the concerts. I think it is a great idea that will be picked up, hopefully, by other artists. Also, the rave parties are a fun concept. Dancing across the internet with people you don’t know. However, I have never actually had an encounter with chatroulette and I don’t plan on it because I dont think I would want to risk my chances and see something I dont want to see.

  12. Rachel says:

    So I won’t lie, I’ve Chatrouletted it up once or twice in my day; however I find this extremely disturbing. I mean chatroulette is demoralizing and degrading enough as it is, and to see this people actually laughing at this!? That absolutely irks me! Its sickening, suicude is not a joking matter, I do not know how the poeple who saw that didnt have a more concerning reaction. these people are heartless. I’m sure half of theose guys were sitting there pantless just waiting to show their “man parts” to underage girls! gross, get a life people!

  13. ae5341 says:

    Chat roulette is crazy. I actually just discovered it a couple weeks ago. I was in the library with my friends and one of my friends started talking to her computer. Haha I didn’t know what she was doing and when I saw that she was video chatting I thought hey no big deal! But then she told me that it was with random people! I thought that was crazy and just plan weird. I was nervous to get into the video because who knew what I would see. The first time I did it with a couple of friends, I was actually disgusted. I saw many penises. I don’t understand how people think that it is fun. I mean it would be fun to do if you were drunk or really really bored but I don’t understand how people can do it on a regular basis or even alone for that matter.

    I also don’t get why people are laughing in this video. What if this were true? What if this was a real person? No one would know because they aren’t right there. When they see it, they just start laughing. That’s just sick. If I saw that I think I would honestly call someone because it actually looks real. I mean then they would find out that his was not a real person, but at least I called someone. Also I don’t get why someone would even think about doing this? One day they just decided, hey I want to make it look like someone is hanging themselves, but its just a dummy? That is also sick. What has happened with the people in this world? Who would ever think that this would be a funny joke to play on people? I would never think of doing that because what if people thought that it was real, they would call someone. Maybe the people in this video knew that it was just a dummy and that is why they are laughing? I don’t know, but it still doesn’t justify it.

    I don’t think that chat roulette is really a safe place. Who knows what type of people you will encounter? Many younger people are trying it out these days and that is not good. I just don’t think that chat roulette should be on the Internet. It shows the many odd people that are out there in the world.

  14. Grace B says:

    Although I find this scenario to be very disturbing, I agree with “anonymous” in that it really doesn’t surprise me, both that this prank was pulled, and the way people reacted.
    Michele, the clause that stuck out to me in this post is that you said you are mystified by how many people are laughing in this video, and I have a suggestion that although probably not the reason for all of these individuals, may help to partially redeem humanity.
    I think that if I were to have seen this on chatroulette, (if I were creepy and bored enough to go on chatroulette) I may have laughed too. Not because any aspect of it is at all funny, but because many humans innately react to uncomfortable and frightening things with laughter, because in the face of fear or anxiety it is a preferable way to respond.
    In middle school I remember I was standing on the risers in show choir and I watched another girl pass out. I laughed because I didn’t know how to handle the situation. I later apologized formally to the group.
    It also makes me think of how in scary movies, when something shocks you or jumps out at you, oftentimes you’ll laugh because somehow the comfortability of laughing ameliorates the situation. And with chatroulette and the internet in general, content really straddles the line between reality and illusion. You never know if what you’re getting is spam or substance and therefore with instances like this you don’t know the gravity or validity of the situation. Everybody handles trauma in their own way, and for many of us nervous laughter is unfortunately a reflex.

  15. cs5647 says:

    There definitely is something problematic about this trend of chatroulette. To me, this whole activity of chatroulette is just creepy. The fact that you are willing to open a video chat with someone you don’t know is definitely not something that I would want to do. Also, there is no sensor on the chat so you will most likely see things you do not want see.

    At dinner the other night we were talking about chatroulette and a girl said that people in her house sometimes go on chatroulette on weekends when they are board. But, she also stated that she would never use chat roulette if she were alone. She described that it would be extremely creepy as you never know what you are going to see.

    In the example of what is seen is this video, it is scary how many people laughed at the fact that they saw someone’s feet dangling in front of the screen, clearly insinuating that they hung themselves. This is very problematic. If you were to come across someone who was causing physical harm to themselves on chatroulette, what would you do? Would you report what you saw? And to whom would you report this to? I believe that this program is anonymous so if you were to see someone killing themselves or causing serious harm to themselves or another, what would you do? You would struggle to find an outlet to which you could report the incident, and if you laughed or ignored the problem, the issue would never be addressed and the incident would forever be on your conscience, as you did not respond. I feel that issues such as these need to be addressed if people are to continue using this social outlet.

    The use of this video in the post was a very beneficial rhetorical move, as it portrays well the problems associated with chatroulette. People laugh at the image of someone hanging themselves! Now tell me that’s not absurd.

    Another problem with chat roulette is that it reflects a larger societal problem, the fact that because of technology, people spend all of their time on technology and do not go out and meet people in other ways. Society has become so centered on technology that people no longer socialize. This has great impacts on how people relate to each other. For example, on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus, people are so caught up in technology that they walk around with an iPod on or a phone glued to their ear. Why can’t we walk by each other and start up a conversation, or at least smile or say hello to one another? This issue of technology and people’s unwillingness to go out and meet people is reflected in chat roulette and is a problem that needs to be addressed in society!

  16. mike says:

    I don’t understand how this could be remotely funny. Yeah it is a set up trying to see how people react to it, but shit, its amazing what people find as humorous. Chatroulette is suppose to be a way of branching out and communicating with people acrosse the world similar to skype without a private setting. Yes it is a humorous website because usually you see a bunch of drunk people acting stupid. But on the other hand more than half the time you see a male or female masterbating. It just boggles my mind how people think. since when has suicide become something to laugh and joke about?

  17. Brittney Smart says:

    This is only a fraction of Chatroulette’s problems. There is racism, sexism, classism, senseless pranks and masturbation on that website every single day. You can’t report it because there is no report button. My friend was called the n-word several times by Caucasians and Asians . Although she wasn’t offended and held her own, I was offended. I do know that the site bans people if they show or text-type nudity, but I don’t know if those people were banned for calling her the n-word. Somehow I doubt it.

  18. I can’t even being to process how people think this is funny. Clearly the person who set up this suicide scene is looking for laughs in the wrong ways. But, what I think is worse is that he’s getting the reaction he wanted. People are laughing. How does watching a person commit suicide provoke laughter? It doesn’t even matter that it’s a staged scene. I think this video has shown me the worst in humanity. I don’t even see the point of this website. The chances of connecting with someone that you chat with for 30 seconds is so beyond rare. There are so many better ways to meet and interact with new people and it’s sad that we have had to stoop this low just to attempt to make new connections. This video shows not only the flaws in the website but also the pointlessness. If the website continues to exist there needs to be some sort of report button. There are too many inappropriate visuals for there not to be some way to report them. In fact, I think it would be better if the website were removed from the internet completely. It’s a disgusting idea.

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