Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Omegle, Part II

It's only been two days since I found out about Omegle, and already, my mind has been blown so many times it feels like Bill Clinton's dick. Just like any other chat service, 80% of its constituents are guys who want to cyber you, 15% are chicks who won't cyber you and the last 5% are just people who want to talk about their boring day. But unlike other chat services, Omegle is actually aimed exactly at that last 5%. It's just a place to randomly meet someone and talk about nothing. It's so simple that I'm having a hard time understanding what the hell its purpose really is. I mean, if it were a sex site where you went to meet people and cyber and exchange naughty pictures of you and your cats--then I'd get it. But it's not. It's just for... talking. Which almost seems creepier somehow.

It also allows for unfettered racism, hatred and stupidity. Because you can just randomly log in and out with perfect strangers, it allows you a level of anonymity found not even in regular chat rooms and messageboards. There, moderators keep an eye on what's going on. Even if you change your name repeatedly, people get to know how you talk and act, and you'll get your ass banned for being a homophobic prick. Unless you're on 4Chan I guess. But on Omegle, it's like a drive-by. Sure, it's stupid and virtually harmless, but I'm sure that in the 4150 people active at this very moment, there are at least a few with their feelings hurt. And I don't want to sound like a hippy or anything, but that's just not nice.

Though I suppose I shouldn't be one to talk. Half the fun of Omegle is definitely that anonymity and the ability thereby to just be a total psycho. I already linked some great conversations, but I ended up having a few of my own memorable ones last night:

Stranger: you American?
You: YEP
Stranger: solid.
Stranger: nobody else is
Stranger: we have to Americanize this site
Stranger: no NIGGERS
Stranger: or WETBACKS
Stranger: or FAGGOTS
You: whoa now
You: faggots are fine
Stranger: not in California
You: rehoboth beach wasn't built by no straighties
You: and i like it there
Stranger: here, we don't let them get married 
Stranger: I mean
Stranger: we can let gangbangers buy as many guns as they want
You: haha
Stranger: and Fred Phelps can protest soldiers funerals
You: preachin' to the choir baby
Stranger: but god forbid two men get married
You: i'm a straight up libertarian socialist
Stranger: nigga
Stranger: YOU preachin' to the choir.
Stranger: thats my game, all day er'ry day
You: hhhhheeelllllzz yeah
Stranger: spittin' game from Kropotkin to Guerin, all the way to that P.J. Proudhon shit
Stranger: cheaaaaaaaaaaaaa
You: noam chomsky on the 1s and 2s bitchezzzz
Stranger: michael parenti spittin' on the bass-line
Stranger: howard zinn bumpin' niggas at the door
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

Stranger: riddle me this
Stranger: Brad stared through the dirty soot-smeared window on the 22nd floor of the office tower. Overcome with depression he slid the window open and jumped through it. It was a sheer drop outside the building to the ground. Miraculously after he landed he was completely unhurt. Since there was nothing to cushion his fall or slow his descent, how could he have survived the fall?
Stranger: fuck
Stranger: you're smart
You: goddamn right
Stranger: you get me so wet when you answered that rite
You: i popped like, seventeen boners
Stranger: did you ever had that elephant toy when you were a kid?
Stranger: that like shot out butterflies
You: we were poor
Stranger: why
You: i just had a big dildo
You: my mom was a prostitute
Stranger: dude
You: i thought it was a ROOOOOOCKET SHIP
You: so i sent it to URANUS
Stranger: youre a fag
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

But that's only half the fun. Because while Omegle advertises the fact that it will connect you to a complete stranger somewhere around the globe, it's a testament to just how small our world is when you end up talking to people you are connected with in strange ways. Last night I met two people from New Zealand. One was a girl from Wanganui, with whom I bitched about the entire countries lack of wireless access. But more interesting was a guy from Hamilton, who regularly parks his car in the parking garage on Knox Street where I lived for three days. Chances are, I probably walked by his car as I brushed my teeth. I might have even waited in line behind him at Esquires Coffee to get a mug of hot chocolate the day I was sick.

How crazy is that? Of the thousands of people online in the billions of people on earth, I happened upon some dude I may well have bumped into during my three weeks on the other side of the world. I mean, I don't think we're soulmates or anything. I don't even know the guy's name or how to contact him if I ever want to talk to him again--that's just sort of how Omegle works--but despite not believing in fate, I definitely believe in the total weirdness of chance. The amazing math behind statistical improbability, and the way we constantly see it proved wrong. Just the existence of mankind is an epic smack to the face of probability. Anything "coincidental" that happens after that is basically just an insignificant drop in the statistical ocean.

But I'm getting heavy here.

My point is, Omegle is pretty cool. It's scary and stupid and really weird and totally pointless, but it's still pretty interesting. I have absolutely no idea why, nor how long it will hold my interest (I'm giving it the rest of today), but as of right now it tops the list of Things I'm Enjoying, along with the ridiculously soft grey henley I just bought from Eddie Bauer and building custom deck boxes out of oaktag for my Magic cards. I really do need to get a life.

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