Many times we hear about the abuse of the internet. Egypt having already shut down the internet in their country trying to disperse the rebellion going on there, child pornographers abusing open access points on the neighborhoods you’d lease expect it (you do have at least WPA on your Wi-Fi, right?) and various other stupid stuff.
I was bored tonight. I decided that I’m going to throw my self conscious ways out of the proverbial window. I turned on Chatroulette. Here’s what I found.
Before I get into my findings, let’s discuss the idea of Chatroullette and my expectations already going into this. Chatroullette turns on your webcam and microphone (You can turn these off, but what’s the fun in that?). It then selects a random stranger for you to chat with and connects the two of you. This is subject of many funny demotivational posters and topics on the internet, so I never got interested in it in the first place, but I was bored and disappointed already with the world. Why the hell not? I came into it many people skipping me. I have nothing unique to offer. I’m no 24 year old Justin Beiber. I can’t sing, dance or do anything on camera to force people to enjoy even looking at me, except maybe to mock me at how ugly I am.
For a good minute or so, I went through about 30 feeds on the website which the other end immediately clicked on to the next person, unsure what they were looking for. Most were male subjects, however there were two female in my night, which promptly clicked next.
The one person that didn’t click next on me responded to my “hi” with a butchered spelling of “hey jew bastard”. I promptly responded, not jew, perhaps a bastard (I didn’t know my father growing up) and I saluted him with two fingers and clicked next on him 5 minutes later, I hadn’t met anyone except for a guy that likes to call random people jew bastards.
Usually I find this typical, people don’t particularly enjoy working with each other or randomly meeting others. The whole dating scene is annoying, meeting people in your day to day job isn’t so bad some days and to deal with the people you already know and have expectations of you can be cumbersome.
Today, I took this as a sad state. A state of boredom and predictability. Mind you, I live in Iowa, small town of 90 thousand people, if I recall. We don’t have anything to do in this area, or surrounding areas. You know it’s bad when someone like me feels the need to call the State of the Internet a sad place to be. Games run wild, places like Second Life largely unpopulated because of the potential of complexity. Games of EVE Online abandoned quickly because you aren’t the best at something right off the bat. These are the normal interactions online, chatting with friends you do know, or grinding worse than your daily job of flipping hamburgers while you hold a PHD in business administration in the world of Azeroth. Forums of like minded folks show up, which is a great time if you don’t mind waiting hours or even days for response on a joke that grows old by the minute.
The state of society needs to change, and how we react online needs to change even more so. Anonymity can’t be sourced as a problem online, no consequences for what you say and whatnot, but to even require a law to be civil in a global environment means that our intelligence as a race is diminishing at an alarming rate. Here soon Chaos will reign because Ethan from Ctrl-Alt-Del had a bright idea that some moron thought it would be wise to imitate a cartoon (hrm, sound familiar?) and attempt to create AI on his own without properly debating how it reacts to people. Our relationships will be limited by avatars in games like WoW, Second Life and these little pictures that get sent as a representation of us (but not necessarily pictures of us) with our instant messages. Our thoughts will be provided by the government without the ability to start a revolution we need because once that thought does enter our mind, our Freedom of Speech Under Certain Restrictions Act of our Constitution allows our government to terminate the signal that allows us to breathe through our computer.
As I write those sentences, I find myself asking if I’m influenced by movies like I, Robot or The Matrix. I’d say so, but that’s only because the stories present themselves in completely realistic logical beliefs. My 2:30am rant is done at this time. Please come back for sleep deprivation mumblings of a guy who is just trying to get through the world with his pants on and his thoughts that of his own.