Monday, April 25, 2011

Chat Roulette?

It was about a month ago now that I found a few interesting Youtube videos. The videos consisted of a man named "Merton" playing his piano and singing songs for random strangers on the controversial website Chat Roulette.

Here is the first video that he had posted, if your twelve years old, ask your parents to watch it first, he cusses once or twice.

So why am I showing you this? What is so special about a Hoodie wearing guy playing the piano for a bunch of strangers over the internet? Allow me to explain.

Chat Roulette, is a website with a very simple concept. You can go onto your computer, enable your webcam and microphone and then get paired up with strangers from all over the world. The name Chat Roulette truly speaks for itself.
But it didn't take too long for Chat Roulette to be used and abused by its users. Conversations quickly went from Hi's and Hello's to explicit actions and vulgarity of all sorts. Chat Roulette was effectively labeled a dark corner of the internet. It is not uncommon to go on to this site and see more male nudity in ten minutes than most of you have seen in your life.

With that being said, there is one common denominator that relates to all the people that Merton played to. That being, they smiled. As Merton tickled the ivory's and made up impromptu lyrics nearly every other user got a good laugh out of it, it is something that it out of the ordinary. Instead of being a naked dude it was someone singing you a song. There is no doubt that music resonates with people all over the world, no matter the culture or background that you are coming from.

While I scanned through other related YouTube videos, I found a series of videos called "An Ode to Merton." Once again, a simple idea. Giving credit to Merton for originally founding the idea, other musicians would play and sing to Chat Roulette users, eliciting the same response.

After getting over a little apprehension I decided to pick up a guitar and head on over to Chat Roulette. I played a series of chords and sang about whatever came to my head. It was honestly one of the best experiences that I have had on the internet to date.

Person after person coming up on screen would smile and laugh at the lyrics that were being quickly generated and spewed out. Was it cheap laughs? Oh yeah, there was nothing really to it, but was it worth it? Without doubt.

With some individuals, one girl from Florida for example, what started out as a 4 minute tune turned into a 2 hour set. Playing and playing and playing some more, each new song, each new lyric eliciting a fit of laughter and smiles.

So why waste my time playing guitar to strangers on an internet chat site?

As you know, I think we need a little more positivity around this globe and especially on the internet. That is exactly what I am trying to accomplish. Yet apart from spreading smiles the experience was valuable to me in the sense that I generated my own laughter as well. Let me assure you, I didn't only run into a whole bunch of people who were eager to hear a song or two, the majority of the people that I was partnered with usually "Nexted" me or simply gave me some sort of crude gesture. But out of the whole thing I had an insane amount of laughing, I think I heard someone say that the more you laugh, the longer you live. If that be the case I'm sure they could start writing prescriptions for Chat Roulette.

Remember, He is risen.

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