Omegle promises the unthinkable for netizens: “Talk to strangers!” Notice the exclamation mark!!! To top this, it even promises to be “a brand-new service for meeting new friends.” I mean, yes, social networking leads to lots of contacts with friends, even new ones. But it is not like I haven’t entered a chat with a stranger before. And I am sure a MOO or MUD player from the good ol’ days of TelNet will frown upon the proclaimed freshness of this service.
Nevertheless, I felt a slight tingle as I entered the chat window. I don’t really know what I expected, maybe some sort of post-modern text performance. Two savvy players of the game, juggling with conventions and the etiquette of the social web. And I thought it started rather well.
But alas, the age-old question ‘where are you from?’ threw us both back to the times of CompuServe and AOL. I quickly hit ‘disconnect’ before he could ask me what I am wearing. Gee, we could have become real friends.
Through other blogs I have learnt that Omegle seems to be the brainchild of teenager Leif K-Brooks (what’s with the K- business here?). It would explain the perceived novelty of a chat! with strangers!!
And you can find some mildly amusing examples of other Omegle chats here.