Daily Archives: March 3, 2010

Why 2010 is the best time in history to be lonely. And Ebert’s incredible new voice

Hear me out on this one.

So while I was talking to Pearlman the other day, we got to discussing chatroulette.com, that bizarre new site where, with a webcam and a computer, you can have hundreds, nay, thousands of encounters with random strangers, all with in a few hours.

And this thought suddenly occurred to me: There is no better time in the history of the world to be a lonely person than right now. Think about this: Let’s say you’re sitting at home, bored, with no friends or family around, no significant other, and feeling extremely depressed.

Think about how many ways you can now experience human companionship. Skype. Chatroulette.com. Internet chat rooms. Message boards. Email. Instant messaging.

I could go on and on, but you’ve got things to do today once you’re done reading this blog post.

There are literally dozens of ways a lonely person can experience human contact, or feel a little less strange, or isolated. Technology has basically ensured that you are never truly alone; there is always someone, somewhere, who shares your interests, your beliefs, or just wants to be a little less lonesome themselves.

When I was a high school kid or recent college graduate (I don’t ever recall being lonely in college; that was four years of bliss), I didn’t have any of these options. I’d read, or play my video games, but I’d stay depressed when I got in one of those “no one loves me, I’ll always be alone” moods we all go through at one time or another.

But now? The entire world is at your fingertips.

It’s a great time to be alive.  And the best time ever to feel the pangs of loneliness.

**I’ve been writing a lot about Roger Ebert lately, partly because I find him so inspiring. Here’s a man who can no longer eat, drink or talk, but is still writing brilliantly and living courageously.

If you read that Esquire article I linked above, you may remember that there was a company in Scotland called Cereproc working on a computerized voice that would sound almost identical to Ebert’s former voice, and that soon the legendary film critic would be able to type words and have them come out sounding like his old self.

Tuesday on Oprah, the new voice was unveiled. Pretty damn amazing, if you ask me. Fast forward to :35 on this clip to hear the new, computerized Ebert.

What a world we live in.