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      You Can Spend Valentine’s Day in This Chatroom with Other 'Lonely Cyber-Souls'

      By Tshepo Mokoena

      February 13, 2016

      So, it's Valentine's Day. Remember? The day you pretend not to care about if you're forever alone, or want to play it cool with your girlfriend? It's not as though everyone's been writing and talking about it since Thursday.

      No one seems to know exactly how we ended up celebrating love and sentimentality on February 14 every year—spare your friends the "invented by Hallmark" chat, please—but a general consensus revolves around the brutally violent ancient Roman feast of Lupercalia, the two martyred men named Valentine (also Roman!), honored by the Catholic Church and the French Normans' Galatin's Day.

      Whatever. Either way, we've ended up with a not-quite holiday that boosts flower sales, gives couples an excuse to try not to fall asleep before having sex and thrusts an inferiority complex upon anyone single by early February. Love is great, obviously, and makes us feel a combination of effervescent and unhinged but is wielded like a battering ram at this time of the year.

      Not anymore. The people at blog New Hive have set up a chatroom primed for a congregation of "lonely cyber-souls" to talk to one another and generally not succumb to the stereotypical anti-Valentine's defensiveness. The chat is to start on Sunday evening at 8PM EST.

      New Hive is the sort of digital art website that hosts pieces like this one-man video version of an error 404 message, and tweets things like: "MASS-REPLICATED IMAGERY GOT ME FADED." In any case, the chatroom's technically already open, and will allow users to broadcast live webcam video feeds into the chat, or stick to text if feeling shy. I logged in at about 2PM GMT from London, to see what it was like. Two people popped in briefly, as guest-11418 and guest-11415, then logged out as soon as I tried to get some chat going by typing "We're early." So much for that. I'm sticking to "my boyfriend was at the football" as my excuse.

      If you'll still be awake by 1AM in the UK, this ought to be the place for connecting with a bunch of strangers who aren't morosely scrolling through Instagram and wondering why they weren't hand-delivered a heart-shaped stack of pancakes in bed.

      Topics: valentine's day, chatrooms, loneliness, Forever Alone, Tshepo Mokoena, online chat, webcam, chat rooms, chat room, Vice Guide To Right Now, the vice guide to right now

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