Have You Heard of CHATROULETTE!? Your Teenager Has!

By
Real Estate Agent with The Momentum Group

I have 3 teenagers (ooops, one is now 20) and I have watched for years how easily they move from one technical 'toy' to the next. There seems to be no learning curve...they find out about it, try it and it either sticks or it doesn't. Often, I don't even hear about these things until they are either rejected or so integrated in to their lives as to have become an everyday thing (think Facebook and Skype). I thought I roulette wheelwould share what I learned about last night so that we 'older folks' can at least understand some of what they are doing and find interesting.

The latest craze with the 17 year old set is a new website called Chatroulette! The premise here is that almost all computers now have video cams so that our kids can Skype to their hearts content. Well, take that one step further and you have Chatroulette! Let me explain.

Last night my daughter was working with her Spanish group on a project that was due on Monday. I heard shouts and cheers coming from the basement. At first I did not pay attention because they were yelling 'Hola' in Spanish. When it continued, I went down to check on their progress.

Turns out that they had finished the Spanish homework and turned on ChatRoulette!. They were talking to some Spanish speaking kids who were also sitting in front of their computer waiting for the next exciting person to check in. By the time  I got downstairs, they had switched to some college kids in Florida.

The idea behind the site is that you just hit the 'Next' button and you 'spin' to the next person who wants
to chat.

Obviously, all of you reading this are thinking about the 'creepers' out there.  I am sure that is an issue. My daughter said that they 'spun' over to a camera where all they could see was a pair of pants and a belt buckle. They immediately hit 'Next' and left that 'chatter' behind. Clearly this is a website that comes with opportunity for dangerous situations to occur. As with anything, it is a site that must be used carefully, with an awareness that not everyone who is participating is just doing it for fun,  and is not appropriate for younger kids.  Even with those precautions, it is still ripe for problems. I kind of think it won't be around too long...

I am sure there will be some clever business people who find a way to utilize this technology to their advantage. It will be intersting to see how, and if, that evolves.

Ironically, the generations who have embraced technology as the foundation of their social fiber are now using it in ever changing ways to establish personal connections. I can't see myself ever adding this to my technical repertoire, although the premise (at its most innocent) is interesting. I thought I would share it with all of you in an attempt to have at least some idea of what our teenagers are up to!

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Comments 10 New Comment

Show All Comments
Rainer
112,426
Lisa Schlitz
Realtor - Wellington, Florida Homes 561-214-3216
Home Run Real Estate, Inc.

Hi Holly,

Oh my! This could lead to trouble for those looking for it, but sounds like a lot of fun-I will have to ask my 17 year old if she has tried it yet!

March 12, 2010 07:46 AM
Rainmaker
1,844,556
Gita Bantwal
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel
RE/MAX Centre Realtors

I  have not heard of it. Thanks for the post. I wonder if it will become as popular with teenagers as Facebook.

March 12, 2010 07:50 AM
Rainmaker
309,182
Liz Flint
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty

Hi Holly, sounds interesting, with some good and bad opportunities. 

March 12, 2010 07:58 AM
Ambassador
984,680
Craig Rutman
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor
Helping people in transition

John Stewart of the Daily Showdid a great skit about chatroulette....and, as funny as his skit was, chatroulette is a very scary thing for the kiddies.

March 12, 2010 01:26 PM
Rainmaker
227,485
Troy Erickson
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor
Terra Solis Realty, LLC www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com

Holly - There are so many things out there on the world wide web that it is very important to stay in touch with your children, and what they are doing when they are on the computer.  There is really no regulation, so kids can get into some pretty scary things with just one click.

March 12, 2010 01:44 PM
Rainmaker
310,051
Leslie Prest
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ

Yikes! That is a scary idea to me. I'm glad my "kids" are grown. I've never heard of this, and will ask them if they have.

March 14, 2010 12:54 PM
Rainmaker
241,385
Lise Howe
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,
Keller Williams Capital Properties

I have to go ask my 16 year old if she is ever on this one - I am sure she knows about it - just hope she is as wise as i would like to think she is.... Oh dear!

March 14, 2010 10:17 PM
Rainer
166,315
Andy Chaudoir
Your Home Inspection Connection in Central Texas
Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas

Hello Holly - Thanks for the tip.  Since we don't have teenagers yet I'll ask our nephews if they have ever heard of it.  Have a great week.

March 14, 2010 11:05 PM
Rainer
215,982
Marcia Hawken
Naples Luxury Specialist
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc.

Holly, Oh, I know the people who say they have to keep their kids safe.  However, I would opt for keeping my kids smart.  Parents do the other.  Thanks .  I think it is great!

March 15, 2010 07:44 PM
Rainmaker
477,913
Robert L. Brown
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Michigan
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com

Too many "creepy" people out there for me. I'll stick to my webcam and the users i "invite" to chat with,

March 22, 2010 09:57 AM
Show All Comments
Rainmaker
537,906

Holly Weatherwax

Keller Williams Realty, Northern Virginia
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