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<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Chatroulette09.png”>Chatroulette is a website where you can anonymously meet people of virtually any age from around the world to chat with. You can communicate using text-based chat, voice, and most importantly your webcam. All you need to do is visit the website, click Scan and the system will match you with a random chat partner.
Chatroulette is super minimalistic. No sign up, no age verification, no user information collected, nothing. The simplicity is great because it’s straightforward, quick, and easy. On the other hand, the randomness and anonymity increases the potential of running into a weirdo. The site is NSFW and definitely 18+. This article will show you how you can protect yourself from strange encounters while you do the Chatroulette shuffle with multiple chat partners.
Know How It Works
As mentioned above, Chatroulette is a simplified web-based chat service. The layout is reduced to the absolute basics. From top to bottom you will see: your chat partner’s webcam broadcast, your own webcam image, Chatroulette controls, and the text-based chat box. In the bottom left you can change the theme.
Before you start, familiarize yourself with the controls. The buttons with which you can control Chatroulette sit on top of the chat box. Depending on your current status, the left button is either Scan, Next, or Again and the right button reads Stop. To start you click Scan, to jump to the next random chat partner click Next, Stop is obvious, and to proceed after stopping simply click Again.
As you can see in the screenshot above, you can also control your camera and microphone input. These controls only appear when you hover your mouse over the area below your own webcam image. Be sure everything is connected the way you want it.
Position Your Webcam
An unwritten rule on Chatroulette is that you should broadcast your webcam image. Otherwise you will likely be pushed away by everyone you’re matched with. To protect yourself, however, you might want to keep the camera angle neutral. Instead of showing your full self, point the camera into the room, only show a part of yourself, or be creative and dress up in a costume. Once you start shuffling people, you will see what I mean with ‘creative’.
Also note that per default your microphone is set to broadcast sound. Use the volume controls shown above to adjust the sound. The control on the left side is for your microphone and the one on right controls what you hear of your chat partner.
Don’t Be Offended
Chatroulette is not a place for the faint of heart. You will see people of all ages, you will meet very few girls and a lot of men, but most of all you will see nudity and the occasional weirdo. Expect to be surprised and possibly offended and don’t approach Chatroulette if this is a problem! The best thing you can do to protect yourself from these encounters, apart from not using Chatroulette, is to keep the mouse pointer very close to the Next and Stop buttons.
Don’t Take It Personally
Most people are fun and nice and even if they seem weird, they actually don’t mean to offend you. Some folks, however, are extremely rude and take pleasure from shocking or hurting others. Never take it personally! After all they don’t know you and they are just as alone as you are. Hit Stop if you need a break or click Next to hopefully meet a nice person.
Set Your Alarm
Chatroulette is very addictive. Time literally flies by as you shuffle people, chat, laugh, and hit the Next button over and over again. If you just want to try it and don’t have hours to waste, set an alarm or watch the clock.
Seriously, you can trust me regarding the advice to set an alarm, I speak from experience. This article could have been finished in a matter of minutes, but obviously the research and hunt for good screenshots took a very long time.
Chatroulette is an entertaining way to meet people from all walks of life, although it can also be shocking and intimidating. People use Chatroulette for all sorts of activities and their objectives don’t necessarily coincide with what you are looking for. Unfortunately, there is no way to be matched with people based on age, gender, location, or interests. Hence you have to be prepared to see and hear things you didn’t care for. However, if you approach Chatroulette with an open mind, it will be a great way to pass the time.
Check out the articles below for alternatives to the Chatroulette shuffle:
What was the most hilarious person you ran into on Chatroulette and did you ever have a good conversation with anyone on there?