The (De)Evolution of Chat

The young woman I’m speaking to at the moment is apparently high on prescription drugs.  I have yet to ascertain whether they are hers or someone, but at this point it’s hardly a salient point.  After a brief rant about narwhals, she has now abruptly ended the conversation.  It was my longest in the last day – probably 5 minutes at least.  Before that, I chatted with someone for about 3 minutes earlier in the day.  In between, I had several 10-second conversations that ranged from immediate requests for virtual sex to offers to play Pokemon.  I’ve spoken – albeit briefly – to people from Israel, the Netherlands, and the Eastern Coast of the US.  

This is Omegle – which takes instant messaging into a new realm by connecting you instantly to a completely random and unidentifiable stranger.  You’re now chatting with a random stranger.  Say hi!  the system prompts after clicking on the large, blue Start a Chat button.  And true enough, while many people prefer an alternative start to a simple ‘Hi’, you are indeed chatting with a random stranger.  
Conversational skills vary widely, as do grammar skills and basic social decency levels.  While I find the concept interesting, as usual, application is usually more disappointing.   While the prospect of talking with people from all over the world is interesting, the subsection of the population that is likely to know about this site and use it is decidedly narrow, and you’re apt to run into a lot of bored guys, many of whom are school kids.  I’ll leave it to your imagination to decide how those conversations go, and their relative intellectual level.  
The site creator is young himself, and says that chatting with people you already know – or who you know are going to be like you – is boring.  Omegle is an attempt to create truly random interaction.  The difficulty is that people have a difficult enough time maintaining contact and communicating well with the people they know – starting conversations from scratch with a complete stranger is a challenging task for most people.  As such, many conversations wander blindly to an early end, or have predetermined purposes which lead to their early termination.  
So, give it a try, or don’t.  Either way, you’re probably not missing a whole lot, but you’ll never know until you try.

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