Random video chatting definitely isn’t something that takes a lot of skill; you can pretty much hop onto any video chatting site and start talking about whatever you want, whenever you want. Even so, some people are simply better at casual conversation than others – and for the people who aren’t quite sure what to do while talking with strangers, it can feel a little intimidating at first.
If you’re one of the people who’s unsure about your video chatting skills, don’t worry – with a few basic tips, you’ll soon be chatting like a pro! But first, a little context.
Random video chats tend to be very…well, random. It’s like opening up a bag of mixed candies. As you dig through the bag, you’ll find some that you love, some that simply don’t appeal to you, and a couple that you can’t stand. Random chats can be the same way – some people will be interesting or funny, but you’ll find that some of them, for one reason or another, just don’t float your boat.
Now, turn that around on yourself: how can you communicate to other chatters that you’re one of the interesting people, and that you’re worth spending time with? If you can start applying some of the tips below to your online interactions, your video chats will be enjoyable for everyone.
Give yourself a mini passion project to research through video chats.
Pick something you know nothing about, and ask the people you chat with if they know anything on the subject. Random video chats, like the ones you can find on Camsurf, are a unique resource for all kinds of information; instead of running to WikiHow every time you need to know how to do something, you could try to learn the answer from real people.
Do you want to find out five different ways to cook eggs? Are you interested in learning about life and culture in the south of Italy? Whatever you decide on, it could be fun for both you and your chatting partners to bond over your shared enthusiasm. Who knows – you might even end up sharing your knowledge with someone else who’s on a mission of their own.
Find people who share some of the same interests as you.
What are some of your favorite hobbies? Do you like re-purposing old clothes into trendy new additions to your wardrobe? Are you a camping enthusiast? Maybe you’re getting into professional-level baking, and you want to swap ideas and techniques with a fellow baker. No matter what you’ve been into lately, you’ll probably be able to find plenty of other people who’ve been spending time on the same hobbies.
If your hobby happens to be really obscure – like “knitting hats for one-eared rescue dogs” type of obscure – think about broadening the topic. In this case, you’d have much better luck looking for people who knit clothes and accessories for pets, for example.
Depending on which video chat site you’re using, you might even be able to use a filter to search by topic. That would make it easier, but you might actually have more fun if you do the work yourself. Just think of how great you’ll feel once you find someone who shares a similar interest! Chances are, you’ll both be tickled pink that you found each other.
Know your boundaries.
The majority of people on random chat sites are there just to have fun or kill some time, but not all of them. You may run into people who are identity thieves, or who simply like to bully strangers. If you ever feel like the conversation is derailing, the next chat is available at the click of a button. You can’t control what other people do, but you can control how long you keep talking with them. People abruptly end random chats for all kinds of reasons, so it’s not as if you’re breaking some social taboo anyway.
Remember, random video chatting is supposed to be something you enjoy. If a chat isn’t doing it for you, simply find one that will!
Start conversations easily with ice-breakers.
If you struggle with getting conversations going, you could kickstart the interaction with a game, a challenge, or a joke. Keep it simple. Most people know the game “truth or dare”, for instance; and if they don’t, it’s easy to learn. Challenge them to see who has the best puns, or simply jump right in with your favorite joke. These are the types of things that may not occur to you in the moment, but that are easy to remember if you’ve already decided to use them.
Establish a sense of context with some social etiquette.
One of the best things about random video chats is the lack of social expectations, so why incorporate them into your chats, you may ask? Well, you still want to seem friendly, right? All you have to do is give a little wave, introduce yourself, and maybe mention what you’re interested in talking about. This gives you both a sense of connection right off the bat, and makes it a lot easier to get the rest of the conversation going.
Make sure you have a decent webcam setup.
Have you ever checked that what your webcam setup shows actually looks good? There’s a bit more to it than just making sure that your face is in the frame; it’s best to pay a little attention to the lighting and the background as well.
The lighting doesn’t have to be professional-grade, but it should at least make you look like yourself – avoid odd angles or harsh lights. As for the background, having something that looks nice is obviously a plus; but if that isn’t an option, at least avoid a messy or boring background.
What’s next for your random video chats?
Will you start searching for a fellow expert in DIY furniture, or will you start digging up some old knock-knock jokes? You’ll have plenty of time to experiment and come up with your own ideas; and if anything falls flat, just move on to the next chat and try something new!