The Slow-Cooked Sentence

Caught on Chat Roulette

Rachael Conlin Levy

I’m a Luddite married to a technophile.

This means my camera is a powerful piece of equipment with untapped potential, my computer is a fast, mean machine that causes me less than a hiccup worth of worry, and my cell phone’s voice mail went unchecked for a year because I didn’t take the time to learn how to retrieve messages.

I didn’t pick up this skill because I chose to spend my finite amount of time and energy elsewhere. In frustration and defeat, my husband dialed into my voice mail system and left a recording warning callers that a message left was a message lost.

Recently, though, Google created this social media program called Buzz, and because my email account is through Google, Buzz showed up in my box. I clicked. A window popped open showing my husband’s Tweets, as well pictures of bike rides taken by the brother of a brother-in-law and the self-moderated expletives from a friend’s 13-year-old son. I scrolled down. Boring.

But then this Tweet sparked my curiosity:

I used to think email crystallized everything good and bad about the Internet, but now I know does so much more concisely. 

I bit.

I was going to do a little independent research so when my husband mentioned Chat Roulette, I wouldn’t pull a blank. Or, better yet, I’d be able to make some off-hand reference and shock the hell out of him with how tech savvy I’d become.

I clicked, a window opened, my computer dialed, and a young man’s face appeared on my screen, live. Yikes. I clicked and a second later another man appeared. He was on his bed. He was looking at me. Oh my God.

Frantic, I grabbed the mouse, clicking random buttons and ducking my head so the computer’s camera wouldn’t record me, but Chat Roulette was still running. In one desperate act to preserve my privacy, I crawled under the desk, pulled the computer’s plug and left the room.



Later, I called my husband (on my cell phone):

“So, I tried out Chat Roulette today.”

“You did?”

“Yep. That was the creepiest thing ever. I felt like I was spying on people and had just gotten caught.”

“Did you see anyone jacking off?”

“Eeew! No.”

“There’s a lot of that going on.”

I have shut the lid on Pandora’s Box: I haven’t taken a second peek into Chat Roulette and I don’t open Buzz. But earlier this month, National Public Radio did a feature on this latest web craze, and for once I knew exactly what the reporter was talking about.

3 responses to “Caught on Chat Roulette”

  1. You are so brave Rachael!

  2. Mindi says:

    Ewww, I don't want to do chat roulette–too weird.

  3. Ha! I'm imagining you crawling beneath your desk and pulling the plug. Hilarious! I can relate. Between the two of us, my husband is the definite winner in the tech savvy department.

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