Random video chatting isn’t necessarily an art, but it’s definitely something you can improve on as you gain experience. But what if you don’t want to wait before you really get good at it? In that case, you’re in luck – these 5 tips will make your life easier, and your video chats better.
Having more “meaningful” video chats doesn’t just include soulful late-night conversations about your hopes and dreams; it’s more about going into the chats with a few creative ideas of your own, instead of just opening new chats and waiting for something interesting to happen. There are also a few beginner mistakes to be aware of, just so you don’t accidentally shoot yourself in the foot, then wonder why you aren’t having much luck.
- First impressions are important
You only have one chance to make a first impression, right? That saying was invented well before random video chats, though. It still applies, but the stakes are much lower when you have potentially thousands of people to meet.
Even so, your chances of getting matches go up when you take care of a few things. Firstly, think about how you’ll look as a 2D image on someone else’s monitor. Is your bright-red shirt stealing the show? Does your hair look like a bad wig? Don’t stress about making yourself look absolutely picture-perfect; just know that people will be more likely to continue the chat if you don’t look like a zombie.
Secondly, make sure your environment is more or less conducive to online chatting. Public areas are a definite faux pas, as well as places that have too much going on in general. Instead, chat from somewhere that’s relatively quiet, and with lighting that shows your face without washing you out. If the background actually looks cool, that’s a plus.
- Avoid rambling or monologuing
Even though you’re random video chatting for your own benefit, you aren’t the center of the video chatting universe. Imagine how many people are on a chat site like Chatrandom. There are thousands of other people there who want to have fun as well, so you have to be willing to give as well as take. People who start monologuing during a chat usually come off as self-absorbed, and are almost always boring to everyone but themselves. If they go on for too long, they may find themselves talking to an empty screen.
If you take up too much of the conversation, you have a pretty good chance of losing the other person’s interest – and probably the chat too. Instead, be concise in what you want to say, and give the other person a chance to talk. If they’re shy or having a hard time getting into the flow of things, you can ask questions as a prompt.
- Find people who share something in common with you
Video chat websites offer connections from all over the world, but that can seem like a bit much sometimes; it’s just hard to know what to choose, and you might end up feeling somewhat aimless. If this has been your experience, maybe it’s time to give yourself a mission. Instead of going wherever the algorithm leads, go through chats while asking people if they want to talk about a certain topic – anything that’s near and dear to you. Once you’ve found someone who’s as enthusiastic as you are about the chosen topic, you’ll not only enjoy the chat more, but you’ll feel a sense of accomplishment.
For better results, stick with broader topics. Instead of stuff like “making croissants from scratch”, maybe you should look for someone who can talk about “road tripping through the American Southwest”.
- Throw in something unexpected
Not everyone wants to draw inside the lines, and random video chatting is the perfect way to let your talents shine.
You could test out a new pun that your friends say is terrible, even as they laugh at it (little do they know, that’s the whole point). Get a crazy hat and put it on halfway through a conversation, right after you said something that sounds especially serious. Ask someone to “name this song”, then play something on a recorder or keyboard that’s actually complete nonsense – while explaining that you’re still learning. Not everyone will get that kind of humor, but the people who do will absolutely love it.
There are plenty of other things to do that are less oddball, but still fun and unpredictable. For instance, you could make up short little comedies based on a three-word prompt, compare dad jokes, or compete to see how many Monty Python one-liners each of you can remember. It doesn’t particularly matter what you talk about, as long as you’re enjoying yourselves.
- Be open to unfamiliar perspectives
So far the focus has been on things that you can bring up, but it’s also important to let other people take the reins too. If you keep your ears open, you could learn a thing or two that you’ve never even thought of before.
A big advantage of using random video chat sites is that you get to meet people from all over the place. Not just in your own country, but around the world. Even if you aren’t searching out interesting new topics, they’ll come up just as a matter of course as you talk with more and more people. When this happens, take it as an opportunity to learn about a new perspective. It could be unique to that person, or it could come from their culture; either way, it could lead to an interesting conversation as you try to find out more.
And most importantly – have fun!
No matter who you meet or what you talk about, remember that the whole point is to make your day better. If you find that you’ve gotten stuck in a conversation that’s boring, overly negative, or divisive, just start over by finding another, better one. The chats may be random, but you can still control what happens to a degree – so make it good!