Necessity is the mother of invention and Redditor cherry_garcia found himself in need of someone to talk to while smoking weed. So, he invented PuffPuffChat, a social platform that randomly pairs users into either text or video conversations where they are free to gab about whatever comes to mind. It doesn't need your real name: All it asks is that you rate how high you are, on a scale of 0 to 10.
According to the company, the platform has hosted more than 100,000 potentially meaningful conversations in its first two months. And, as the Daily Dot pointed out, it doesn't seem to be crowded with the nefarious characters that populate Chatroulette and other similar sites—yet. Creator Eric explains where the idea came from, what users talk about (for hours, of course) and why nontokers are welcome as well.
How did you come up for the idea for this network?
PuffPuffChat began as a "highdea," which is the obligatory portmanteau word we'd use to describe an idea arrived at under the influence of cannabis. I've always found the most striking element of weed's psychoactive experience to be increased creativity. That and the munchies.
"Inspiration" is from the Latin for "breathing in," as in "breathing in cannabis smoke." Coincidence? Yes. But I always make sure to have a pen and papers at hand when I get high, and I write down any old thing that comes to my mind. Quite often the result is indiscernible gibberish and phallic doodling, but every once in a while I'll get an idea that captures my own imagination. That is how PuffPuffChat was conceived—as crazy-looking scribblings on a piece of paper, which I assume is the case with all good ideas.
Why not use Chatroulette if you just want someone to talk to?
I feel that high conversations have a unique quality to them. Whenever a friend and I sit down for a smoking session, it seems our communication occurs on a brand-new wavelength. We both feel a heightened sense of comaraderie and openness, and the conversation flows effortlessly and into novel and unexpected territories. PuffPuffChat was created to enable the people of the cannabis community to share these magical sessions with people from all around the world.
Do you have to smoke to use the site?
You do not necessarily need to be a stoner to use the site. When you go to PuffPuffChat, you are asked how high you are on a scale of 0 to 10. The 0 is to accommodate sobriety, and it's a perfectly valid choice of number. Nonstoners are very welcome; a conversation with a person of a different state of mind can be a very enriching experience, too.
Do most people use the text or the video chat option?
Most people do seem to prefer the text-only version of the chat. It appears stoners are more comfortable in complete anonymity.
What do people talk about on PuffPuffChat, besides what they want to eat and the meaning of life?
The topics of conversation range wildly, from favorite snacks to metaphysics. Typically a conversation will start with the banal greetings and proclamations of smoking methods, but from there on it can really go anywhere.
The conversations I've had on the site are easily the best experiences I've ever had with people online. I have talked to people about music, cinema, comedy, politics, relationships and indeed most any subject one can imagine. These conversations are often very long, sometimes lasting several hours, and I have made a lot of new friends.
I saw the "Missed Connections" forum on Reddit for PuffPuffChat users who forget to exchange info. Are you going to integrate that feature into the site?
I think it's great that people have such positive experiences on the site that they feel the need to reunite with fellow users with whom they didn't get the chance to exchange information. However, people usually have no problem to do that during the conversation, so I have no plan of integrating such functionality into the website at the moment. I'd like to keep the site as simplistic and anonymous as possible, and I wouldn't want anyone to feel pressured to give out their details.
With marijuana becoming legal in several parts of the country, have you had any interest from brands?
I have not yet been approached by anyone wishing to advertise on the site.