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Anyone from the ben folds chatroulette videos?

When is the last time you used chat?

Look at this picture of three rectangles and the text chatroulette video at the bottom. Now, in the early days of this technology, there was one chatroulette video for every three people that were online at the time. Today, that number is three-to-one. And the internet has gotten much, much better. It's a two-way street. Nowadays, you can have tens of thousands of people in a room and still not have a single video chat. It's because of the technology. Today, every new version of software or interface or website or application increases the video chat window size by several percent or multiple of thousands of users. So if you have a chat room of two people, and a new version of Google Speak loads 20 times as many people into your chat as it did then, that's because 20 people are using the new version of the software, not because there were 20 people using the old version of the software.

The reason why the number of people that are using a chat has increased so much is because of the factors I just described. But how does it feel to be one of the people using this technology? Well, when you think about it, probably nothing is more satisfying than having a really good conversation with someone who is really happy with your statement. But how do you know that someone else really likes something you're saying? Well, you can ask, and that can be satisfying, but asking unnecessarily will get you nowhere. So you've tried asking stuff, and stuff you've said you won't forget. But you don't want to forget stuff you said when you were with someone else. In fact, you'll probably want to keep that stuff so you can ask it when you're alone. Well, that's exactly what we did when we were dating. I don't want to sound corny, but I actually did.

Couples therapist Laura Konopka, PhD, found that, after three years of dating, avid users of chat were still, on average, 5.5% happier than non-users. Why is that? Well, there's the obvious one: increased happiness correlated with longer relationships. Now, it's possible that looking happy was the deciding factor in someone's dating partner contacting them. But anecdotal evidence supports the idea that a happy smile can help you ace a dating test. A 2006 study found that people who scored higher on life stress were more likely to date. But the relationship wasn't causal. In fact, those who scored higher in neuroticism scored lower on their life stress, too. So it worked both ways. Happiness led to more neuroticism. And so was linked to neuroticism a personality trait later on in life, too. So it looks like a pretty good recipe for neuroticism.

And so is the evidence that chatroulette is a happy place?