Returning to America from the British Studies Program, I had two weeks to spare prior to school’s resumption. With most friends still home on vacation, I had no source of entertainment but Internet. One day, misunderstanding the general perception and purpose of Chatroulette, I decided to sign on to the website to video-chat with strangers. Quickly matched with numerous men and women exhibiting and playing with their reproductive parts without revealing their faces, I asked myself, “What the heck am I on?” The level of racism of these users could not be elaborated either, and I felt apologetic for these ignorant children. In the midst of continuously skipping to find a nonpsychotic person willing to chat, I came across an account that displayed numerous pictures of a blonde model in lieu of a live person on camera.
Utterly naïve in this world, I believed that the photos were—regardless of her horrendous English and age of twenty-five and the model looking like an eighteen-year-old American—of the woman chatting with me on her keyboard instead of microphone. The creep claimed her video camera and microphone had broken and immediately started asking me to look in different directions and even stand up; I initially thought she saw something around me, and as soon as I noticed her perverted scheme, I stopped. She then fabricated stories of her “unfortunate” life, about having been sold into prostitution, her boss not feeding her for days, and her desire to commit suicide, to garner my sympathy. I believed all she said; thus, I spent this opportunity to share the Gospel, informing her God loves her and suicide cannot be the solution to her problems. At one point, she had to use the bathroom and begged me repeatedly not to skip her. We ended up exchanging Facebook, and she told me she would kill herself if I lost contact with her. I knew she had mental problems but still wanted to spread the Word and save a life. In spite of my serious attempt at consolation, she often incorporated dirty jokes and continued to try to trick me into moving around to check me out. When she insisted I promise her not to get on Chatroulette again, I realized this psychotic girl had fallen for me.
The mysterious woman constantly mentioned me without using my name on Facebook, posting, “I really miss him. I hope he is okay” and “I miss him so much. Wtf.” I thought I was in a horror movie and solely hoped she was not referring to me. Three days since the video-chat, on a Sunday, she messaged me asking where I had been, which confirmed she indeed was talking about me in her recent statuses. I told her I had to attend church, and she replied, “I’ll be waiting for you.” I began freaking out and turning to friends, one of whom asked me for her Facebook, for advice. The friend straightaway said, “She’s fake.” I was confused and argued against his claim, as I did not think anyone would be ridiculous enough to pretend to be someone else. He somehow eventually discovered pictures of the lunatic—Filipino residing in the Philippines—who had been obsessed with me. Her barely decipherable English instantly made sense. The teenager she was pretending to be had been involved in a modeling competition, and numerous impostors around the world had been using this model’s photos to deceive men. After messaging the liar one last time, letting her know she could get in trouble for fraud, I blocked her. I occasionally asked the friend who revealed her true identity to check her Facebook to make sure she was not using my pictures in any way. Having encountered this peculiar incident, I could understand the negative views on Chatroulette and realized I cannot have a genuine conversation with everyone.