SHE SAID: Omegle

Omegle was started by an 18-year-old high school student who lives in Brattleboro, Vermont and the entire premise is online chatting … with a complete stranger.  When you start a chat, you are “you” and the person you’re chatting with is “stranger”.  Unless you dig for more details, you don’t get any.  No witty username, no icon, personalized font and color, nothing.  For a better understanding of this post – I suggest you click here to try it out or read this post for more information.

omegleWhile I get that an 18 year old in Vermont would find the idea of a stranger to talk to exciting, after spending some time on line doing “research”, I think I’m too old for Omegle.  Or, just not enough of a wing nut.

My favorite conversation went like this:

You: please don’t say something weird
Your conversational partner has disconnected.

I have so many meaningless conversations in a day, I’m usually aching for a meaningful one.  Between the countless encounters one has in a small town and the rushed nature of our day to day lives, I seldom find myself sitting with someone I care about talking about what really matters in either our lives or our world.  Going online to talk to someone I don’t know is yet another, and the chances of that conversation turning into something meaningful are even less.  Even if it were to become so, the randomness, the anonymity of it would nullify any authenticity.

So fine, this is supposed to be fake, fun, whatever it evolves into.  Let’s spend some time delving into the pointless.

When I first heard about Omegle and sent the link to my friends, we were in hysterics about some of the conversations.  Strangers would open with completely bizarre comments, sometimes a little scary, sometimes uncomfortable, you never knew what you were going to get.  While that is still the case, in the month or two that Omegle has been up, I find it has been taken over by salacious chatters who immediately get straight to the point: a/s/l (yes, I had to ask what that meant: age/sex/language) and one conversation went immediately to this:

Stranger: do u like sex?
Stranger: have u got a webcam?
Stranger: can i see u?
Stranger: please
You have disconnected.

It’s like a one night stand, only without foreplay, alcohol or the bad come on line and instead, pleading?

Now let’s add my teenage nieces have access to Omegle, as does … anyone.  Seem a little scary yet?

I get the ideal of why a conversation with a complete stranger would be refreshing and unique.  It’s like freshman year at college: you had the choice to be you, or the choice to start over and not be the nerd or bitch, or nerdy bitch in my case, that you were in high school.  Only, this is repeated conversations with strangers, repeated potential persona’s and the result reminds me of an experiment from a Psych 101 class.  When asked to write on a blank piece of paper what we would do if we were invisible for an entire day, almost all the answers were a variation on two things:  1. spy on women changing and 2. rob a bank.  Imagine hearing those answers read aloud 350 times.  It was funny, then staggering, then just plain old depressing.

Unfortunately, the reality of Omegle is an anonymous expanse in which it becomes depressingly clear how little people are actually interested in what we have to say to each other and how important a/s/l is once our pesky pretense at sincerity is no longer required or needed.

Like I said, I’m too old for this.

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3 Responses to SHE SAID: Omegle

  1. Andrew Davis says:

    Ok, so here’s a transcript of a conversation I had on Omegle. What do you think?

    Connecting to server…
    Looking for someone you can chat with. Hang on.
    You’re now chatting with a random stranger. Say hi!
    Stranger: G’day
    You: welcome to the show
    You: Good day to you
    You: thanks for agreeing to come on the Drew Show!
    Stranger: How was your day, dear?
    Stranger: oh thanks
    You: So Stranger where are you from
    You: ?
    You: Well…? Welcome to the Boston Mass edition of What’s up Stranger!
    Stranger: Sydcney
    Stranger: Sydney, Australia
    You: Alright! (Applause!)
    You: So did you have a breville sandwich this morning?
    Stranger: Yeah its a long flight over to apppear on the Drew Show, but I tell you, I couldn’t wait
    Stranger: I certainly did
    You: So glad! So honored!
    Stranger: Did you know that I have cheese and tomato brevilles every morning?
    You: No! Come on! Seriously! So, what’s the big news? What did you come all this way to tell us this morning?
    Stranger: I’m pregnant
    You: I love a good Breville sandwich! So melty and warm! NO WAY You’re Pregnant! (APPLAUSE)!
    Stranger: Yeah
    You: That’s amazing, that’s wonderful. The gift of life!
    You: Well, do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?
    Stranger: Darren and I have been trying for years, so we are so happy
    Stranger: oh no, I wouldn’t dare guess
    You: Darren must love trying! The suspense must be killing you though.
    Stranger: Well, I was thinking paint the bedroom half pink, half blue
    You: (laughter…!) That’s funny. Have you told anyone else yet, or is the What’s Up Stranger audience the first one to know?
    Stranger: and do the same with all of the little creature’s clothes, socks, etc
    Stranger: Well of course Darren knows, and both our families
    Stranger: and Doris, our octogenerian neighbour
    Stranger: and Krystal from Zoo magazine
    You: (laughter)(Applause) Your little one’s going to have quite the sense of humor. We’re so honored you chose our show to let the cat out of the bag! (Applause) (More laughter)
    Stranger: No problem Drew
    You: Zoo magazine, huh. Never heard of that one.
    Stranger: It’s an obscure Australian magazine
    You: How did you know it was me?
    You: Oh, very confusing – I forgot I changed the name of the show… (laughter)
    Stranger: Oh you are silly!
    You: So I don’t think we know your name? Darren and….?
    Stranger: George
    You: Very nice. Darren and George!
    You: Well, that’s all we have time for today on the Drew Show- What’s up Stranger. (I have to get back to work…) (laughter, applause)
    Stranger: Thanks for having me!
    You: I’d like to thank our guest George! Thanks for coming on the show… we’ll see you all next time!
    You: (music up) Applause…. cut to wide shot…. dissolve to black!
    You: George you were a great guest! Thanks – come on the show anytime!
    Stranger: Are we still on air?
    You: No…. you were awesome.
    You: Sometimes we have the worst guests. So boring.
    You: That’s a ratings winner right there!
    Stranger: I’m so glad. I’ll be sure to send you pictures of our little scamp when it pops out of me
    Stranger: Well, thanks for having me. I’ll be off now.
    Stranger: All the best!
    You: Please do! That would be great!
    You: Bye!

  2. todayred says:

    haha i always say i am from Alaska. i know f-all about Alaska, except Palin is from there and that is one crazy lady. people seem to like it.

  3. Sozo says:

    I don’t think you’re too old. While, I’ve had some really great conversation there are the weird ones. Usually trolls or bots, but keep at it…there are good people out there.

    Thanks for commenting on my blog, I appreciate it.

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