What did you used to do in 2010? Personally, I was in school, I was 23 and I was (and still am) addicted to the Internet. So in addition to spending borderline unhealthy amounts of time on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Youtube, I sometimes played Chatroulette.
At the peak of it’s popularity, there was an average of 50,000 people world wide using Chatroulette at any given time. It wasn’t all just dicks either, it was possible to find normal people on the site. You just had to shuffle though 8 or 9 sessions of penises before you could actually find a fully clothed person. I remember once, late at night, I stumbled across someone wearing a bright American Apparel hoodie and a pair of colourful thick-rimmed glasses. His hood was over his head with the strings pulled tight so you could only see his glasses and a tuff of dark, curly hair sticking out. He was sitting at a desk and I was sitting on my bed, against a wall, under a window. I waved at him, ready to end our session if he decided to flash me his dink. He waved back. Finally, a normal person.
We started chatting about the usual stuff like, where are you from? Brazil. What time is it there? Late. What are you doing? Nothing. Then I asked him, “What do you do?” He sat there for moment, as if contemplating whether he wanted to tell me or not. “I’m a graphic designer,” he finally replied. “Show me,” I said.
He sent me a link to his portfolio. I clicked it. As I hovered over the navigation bar of his page the background strobed with flashes of bright colours, lighting up my face and the wall behind me.
“This is so weird,” he said to me.
“Why is that?” I asked.
“Because, i’m here in Brazil at 4 o’clock in the morning and you’re there in Canada looking at my website that I designed. I can see the colours flashing across your face from the other side of the world; That’s really cool,” he said.
Yeah, that is pretty cool.