Monday, 6 April 2009

BEDA the Sixth: Oh My Eagle!

So this Omegle thing..

Firstly, I will grant three genie-like wishes, to anyone that can tell me what the hell 'Omegle' means, stands for, or how it is supposed to be said. Me and 'Stranger' (she was Finnish) last night agreed that it could be lolspeak for 'Oh my eagle!', but then we also realised that neither of us have ever cursed by saying 'Oh my eagle!', and we probably wouldn't even if we actually had an eagle (new internet meme, though? Make it happen!!).

After I got over the initial confusing mix of emotions that I always feel when I meet a new word I don't know, though, I got to thinking. Isn't Omegle just a tad dangerous?

I mean, I know there's all the jokes and lulz about the tagline 'Talk to Strangers', which I agree is generally a good thing to ignore and do anyway, and I know that you only actually speak to each 'Stranger' once, and that the chances of bumping into them again (and then realising that, to boot) are slim to none, but I'm sure a really adept paedophile could weasel your Skype name, if not your number, address, and whereabouts in your room your bed is, in one conversation. In fact, I'd like to state now that I have every faith in the unregistered deviants of the world, as they struggle to perform this feat.

Now, looking from an English point of view, I'd say the biggest proponent of Omegle so far has been Alex Day, or Nerimon. He has thousands of dedicated subscribers, or Nermies, many of whom will, and did, rush to Omegle to see what it's all about. Luckily, though, a lot of Alex's subscribers seem to be older teenagers, and young adults, all with a decent degree of intellect and internet nouse. So far, then, like a bear snatching at salmon jumping upstream, our paedophillic friends are out of luck. A subscriber that can email a MENSA member with helpful career advice based simply on his blog posts is hardly likely to fall prey of online perverts.

The problem comes, in hordes, with the screaming fangirls. Forgive me for stereotyping, but the typical fangirl seems to be about 12, think Edward Cullen is the very (granted, unliving) embodiment of perfection, and will follow whatever the next internet trend is. No doubt, with their passion for 'randomness' (a concept, according to them, apparently started by Charlieissocoollike), they will less-than-three Omegle, and the chance to act up to people that don't know them.. And that's where our child-snatching friends will have a ball.

Having said all that, I like it, and honestly hope it doesn't conform to meet the demands of the Daily Mail families of the world. Hopefully its user base will continue to be mainly comprised of web-savvy young adults, and so the "peedos that live around every corner!!!!!!!!" won't have a chance to do their illegal thang.

See you on there, stranger.


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