Yeh Hai Life!

Welcome To The Age Of Talking Random Stuff With Random Strangers.

In India, Technology on February 27, 2010 at 9:32 am

My 15-yr old was on Omegle the other day. What’s Omegle?

Omegle is a brand-new service for meeting new friends. When you use Omegle, we pick another user at random and let you have a one-on-one chat with each other. Chats are completely anonymous, although there is nothing to stop you from revealing personal details if you would like.

15 years of drilling in her mind that talking to strangers was a bad bad idea went right out the window in that instant. “What’s so cool about speaking to random strangers anonymously?” – my mature attempt to ‘have a conversation’ rather than smash the computer or lock her up in a tower somewhere till she turned 21.

I had answered my own question. That’s the thrill of it, my teen said (with the obligatory parents-are-so-clueless eye roll) – talking random things to random strangers and it’s all anonymous. And what if the stranger was a dangerous pedophile psycho of some sort? Simple answer, “You just move on mom. C’mon I’m not that stupid. I can tell who’s a creeper. Trust me!”

Could I? Before I could process the thought, the cellphone buzzed incessantly with text messages, and Facebook and AIM chat windows popped everywhere. Teen fingers flew at lightning speed replying to a dozen different conversations on a dozen different windows. Damn! this girl can type faster than I can think! I was thankful that she wasn’t talking to strangers anymore while simultaneously wondering what online safety means in the age of the Omegles.

“Oh mom, you think Omegle is bad? Wait till you see Formspring. It’s like…seriously….cyber bully heaven.” My turn to roll eyes.

I trust her. We’ve spent 15 years building the trust that the Omegles and Formsprings will test constantly. But as long as we’re talking about it, I’m sure we’ll be OK.



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