Have You Heard of CHATROULETTE!? Your Teenager Has!

Real Estate Agent with Associate Broker, Momentum Realty

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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Lisa Schlitz
Home Run Real Estate, Inc. - Wellington, FL
Realtor - Wellington, Florida Homes 561-214-3216

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!

Mar 11, 2010 11:46 PM #1
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

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

Mar 11, 2010 11:50 PM #2
Liz Flint
Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty - Houston, TX
Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066

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

Mar 11, 2010 11:58 PM #3
Craig Rutman
Helping people in transition - Cary, NC
Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor

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.

Mar 12, 2010 05:26 AM #4
Troy Erickson
Diverse Solutions Realty www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

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.

Mar 12, 2010 05:44 AM #5
Leslie Prest
Leslie Prest, Prest Realty, Sales and Rentals in Payson, AZ - Payson, AZ
Owner, Assoc. Broker, Prest Realty, Payson,

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.

Mar 14, 2010 05:54 AM #6
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

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!

Mar 14, 2010 03:17 PM #7
Andy Chaudoir
Professional Inspection Services - Georgetown, Texas - Georgetown, TX
Your Home Inspection Connection in Central 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.

Mar 14, 2010 04:05 PM #8
Marcia Hawken
Downing-Frye Realty, Inc. - Naples, FL
Naples Luxury Specialist

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!

Mar 15, 2010 12:44 PM #9
Robert L. Brown
www.mrbrownsellsgr.com - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic

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

Mar 22, 2010 02:57 AM #10
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