The Night a Piece of My Innocence Died: Chatroulette
I really pondered. I hadn't heard of Chatroulette before Mona's posting. Devra's post challenged me to at least check it out before I jumped to conclusions or ruled it out...
So... I went to Chatroulette. It was around 11 p.m. Pacific Time.
Maybe I should have logged in during the lunch hour. The say the freaks come out at night...
And I went into it... not so much scared, but definitely nervous. Frankly, I felt a little porny. There wasn't a 100% chance I'd come across anything "porn" worthy, but I knew there was a chance. And this made me feel uneasy. Porn... it's just not my angle, yo.
Going into it I felt dirty. I felt like a 37 year old woman (am)... going into an 18 and over dance club. Ya CAN, but should ya?
I was probably on/in Chatroulette less than 5 minutes. The first several were all men. I clicked through fairly quickly because... because I was freaked out. I was hopeful my judgements would be wrong. I hoped I'd come across mostly gals like me. I am so naive.
Man. Old Man. Man. Boy. Boy. Teen boy. Teenboy. College kids. Man. Old Man... A couple in bed... they had jammie tops and a blanket pulled up, but...
I took a few screen shots. Nothing bad, but telling. I thought I might post them here, but decided agains it. I have a screen shot of somebody's kid on Chatroulette. I am not a perv or a predator... I'd say the boy looked around 11 or 12 years old. My big problem here --- somebody could totally take a screen shot of me or my kid too.
I never saw a 30-something looking woman. BUT --- I did see ---> a guy in unbuttoned pants, boxers (the undies, not the dog) a note that read: "BOOBS!", and several different teenage-ish looking boys laying on their sides in bed, a couple in bed, I recevied one invitation that read: "So, do you wanna have some fun?"
... and finally...
Right there. Just there.
And right now it would seem that I am a perv.
In my defense, the last 2 "people" I rouletted through belonged to the penises (penii ???). I clicked away from the first as fast as my shocked little self could... to be met with ANOTHER! Niiiice. I freakd and screamed.
And I gagged. I probably should have reported, but it was all I could do to get them off my screen. I just wanted them off. The second time I just closed my browser. I was done.
I have a few conclusions:
• It should be against the law for sex predators to be able to own a computer. I know, it'd be impossible to police, but good Lord...
• Even if I was sitting right there with my 16 year old (which I don't have a 16 year old yet), the damage would be done. If I couldn't protect my OWN eyes, then...
• Chatroulette is for voyeurs and pervs, or citizen journalists looking to do hard reporting on real-life news happening right now. *ahem*
I just can't keep an open mind on this one. Definitely not a space for kids. Perhaps I am uber-restrictive, but not even teens. I saw several what I judge to be creepy, wide-eyed old-man "groomers" in the mix. This social tool is just too wide open.
However, I don't regret checking it out. I chatted about it with a friend the night before and all I could quote was the opinion of others. Now I have my own.
Mona asked, "Is Chatroulette's danger just another media spin or is the concern genuine?"
I think there are plenty of online sources the young and old can access freely to see pictures or whathaveyou of Man Goods or boys laying around in bed, but... all I had to do was Google "chatroulette", click on the link, allow my cam to do it's thing, and the rest is history.
Any of those folks could have begged for boobies or jacked off in my real-time presence... There was no way to guess what was coming next (ah, "roulette")... It's yet another avenue for pediphiles and preverts -- or for lonely, girlfriendless, college and h.s. boys to simply get their jollies. I tell ya this: I don't want tany of them getting their jollies off becuase of me or my kids.
By the way, I was definitely the most attractive person I saw on there. And the state of my mascara would rival that of a football player after a hard-won game.
Simply, I fail to see any benefit. I am a social gal. I know the social game. I embrace it. I understand the potential greatness of being able to connect with people all over the world, and I don't believe Chatroulette is a way for that. Much like Playboy isn't the magazine that it is because of the articles.
Am I preaching to the choir?