When is the last time you took Chatroulette for a spin? Exactly.
While I burned out quickly due to a profound lack of interest in creating something attention-getting for other people to gaze upon, Salon blames the flameout on men. Specifically, dicks.
Sure, the social media aspect was initially intriguing, but the mystery of what one might discover quickly became no mystery at all. SPOILER ALERT: It's trouser meat. And while it's true that from the beginning of civilization, men have endeavored to build monuments to their phalluses, Chatroulette's status as an online obelisk was a shaky proposition at best. An RJ Metrics survey last spring revealed that 89 percent of Chatroulette users were male, that one in eight spins yielded "R-rated or worse" content, and that "You are twice as likely to encounter a sign requesting female nudity than you are to encounter actual female nudity."
Just last week I said to my husband, "Whatever happened to Chatroulette?" Then quickly forgot I even cared about the site my girlfriends and I spent a chunk of time clicking on to see what we could find while laughing like we were prank-calling a junior high crush.
Yes, we saw our fair share of penises, but we also saw a track suit-wearing non-English-speaking young man who tried to communicate with us for at least as long as it took us all to realize we had no idea what the other party was saying, a couple of teenage girls who seemed to be as mortified as us, and a lot of blank rooms.
While we didn't ever do this, we fantasized about leaving Chatroulette up at all future parties so guests could take it for a spin, peeking in on cyber universes when the mood did strike. We imagined talk shows set up on Chatroulette, magnificent performance art designed to be absorbed in 15- to 30-second increments. Then we never logged on again. Apparently no one else did either, except for all of those faceless penises that seem to pop up like web weeds.
All of that potential, wasted on dudes who can't keep it in their pants. So long Chatroulette, we hardly knew ye.
Image via avantexgarde/Flickr