I met my best friend on Chatroulette

Don’t overlook internet relationships. ADRIAN GRAY tells us why.

best friend Chatroulette columnist tab 2014 internet relationships Tinder


If you’ve dared go near it within the last year or so you’ll probably know it as a waterfall of low resolution cock; a barrage of slow-to-load male loins interrupted only by the occasional advert for a boob-based equivalent, usually called something like MyTitVid or VagCamGold. It’s an eerie place. And if someone told you they’d met their partner on it you’d be forgiven for asking them to move lunch tables. Or friendship groups.

Not what happens

In reality, almost all e-relationships carry a certain stigma, but it’s not just the clammy wankmosphere of sites like Chatroulette that are to blame. It’s more that these sites are still a relatively new phenomenon, leading to a mistrust, stemming from ignorance. It’s like when video games first entered the mainstream. Everyone kicked off. Completely. In fact my dad was still kicking off until they released Wii Sports and he happened to be good at the bowling.

Sure, Tinder has helped make e-dating a little cooler. It encourages, if not forces you to be judgemental, dismissive and shallow. These are all key ingredients for popularity so, unsurprisingly, the social elite have really taken to it. I’m sure it’s as cockulated as Chatroulette, but some of the guys on it like Mumford and Sons so it’s fine.

That flame of cyber-desire

The mistrust largely persists, though, and because of this, any bizarre encounters that do emerge from the world of online interaction are pounced upon by the media, and presented as the tip of the iceberg. The only stories we hear about are the ones like these: the ones weird enough to drag Mail Online readers away from judging the Kardashians, if only briefly. Those on the comforting side of normality don’t get a look in and, thus, the stigma is inflated.

But it’s easy to forget that it is possible to meet a friend or partner online without things descending into a farce involving mug shots and a public apology. I’ve done it. In fact, I’ve had an e-friend for almost four years.

We met on a site similar to Chatroulette. She understood the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re’, and I didn’t have my cock out, so we gelled. We exchanged Skypes, became friends, and chatted online for about three years.

Then, a year ago, we met. In real life. In the flesh. I flew to America to prove she wasn’t just the most absurdly complex animated gif. ever, and it turns out she’s not. She exists, she’s who she says she is, and she’s wonderful. Sure, Philadelphia was a bit of a dump and the Liberty Bell was about as exciting as Norton Anti-Virus, but our friendship thrived, weirdness-free.

And here’s proof

Yet you’ve probably still judged me. You probably think less of me than you did a few seconds ago, even if your opinion was already quite low because you happen to know my favourite drink is Midori with Malibu (piss off, you get over the sweetness).

I’m not saying there should be no stigma at all. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be more intrigued by an online relationship than a regular one. Chatroulette is a bin of bottom halves, yes, but that doesn’t mean we should assume all web-encounters are creepy and nothing else.

The joy of a regular friendship doesn’t derive from its conventionality, but from its trust, its humour, and its intimacy; these are all traits that can exist across a slightly lagging video call as well as a lunch table. And if you have an open mind to these sites you might just find someone great, amongst the loins.

So, I think web interactions needs re-labelling. Out with the ‘weird’ tag, and in with the ‘occasionally odd but often just fulfilling’ label. Clunkier, yes. But also a lot more accurate.

If you would like to see Adrian and some other comedians perform stand-up, why not come to The Witt Club at the ADC theatre, next Tuesday at 11pm? He also has a sketch show on the week after but he’ll plug that more heavily nearer the time.