I didn’t get it at first….
I, like everyone else on the planet, couldn’t resist trying out Chat Roulette. For some reason, the idea of being connected with a completely random person through video and text was strangely enticing. But for the last week or so, I’ve been trying to understand what exactly was so addicting. It’s not the people that I have met – in truth, even though I’ve clicked that play button dozens of times, I haven’t really met a single person. Every time a connection is made, it is only a matter of seconds before either I disconnect or the stranger on the other end does. Perhaps I am too picky – perhaps everyone else is just as picky as I am.
So why do I keep going back?
Tonight I realized that the answer has been staring me in the face the whole time. The answer is actually in the name of the website – Chat Roulette. That’s it – it’s the basic gambling delusion. Every time I click play I am subconsciously hoping to hit the jackpot. And no matter how many times I lose (ie. reject the stranger, or get rejected by the stranger) I feel certain that if I play one more time there will be a big pay-off.
But this feeling is completely foreign to me. I am not a gambler. I could never understand people that go to casinos and watch their life-savings be taken away by a slot machine one dollar at a time. I work really hard for my money. I expect it to get me a lot more than the anxiety induced by a few seconds of cherries and sevens rolling in a machine.
And there it is. The reason that Chat Roulette is so great: I can afford the hit to my self-esteem when the stranger rejects me, and it doesn’t cost me anything at all to reject them – but I still get that thrill of the unknown! I still get the few seconds of anticipate and anxiety while I wait for the video to load.
I can keep playing, waiting for the big pay-off, and it doesn’t cost me anything at all when I lose.
Nicely done Chat Roulette, nicely done.