Even if you’re the kind of person who’s never had a problem making friends in real life, you might want to make sure you’ve got your bases covered before trying out your people skills with random video chats. That’s not to say that video chatting isn’t self-explanatory – it pretty much is. However, there are still a few things that are handy to know beforehand, instead of figuring them out yourself through trial and error.
For instance, what should you do if you’re having a hard time getting people to stay in a chat with you? It’s not a complicated fix at all, but missing it could result in a lot of frustration. What about things to do during the chats? If you want your interactions to be both fun and satisfying, you should probably bring more to the table than “guess what happened at work today” (unless it’s genuinely a great story, of course).
It doesn’t matter if you’re outgoing and friendly, or shy and reserved – random video chats on sites like CamSurf can give you a whole new outlet for socialization and entertainment. Want to find out how? Keep reading!
Get your video chat setup right
When someone meets you for the first time in real life, they automatically learn about you from the way you’re dressed, the way you carry yourself, and how you speak. While people on video chats can pick up on some of that, they’re also viewing you on a 2D screen – their impression of you is very much influenced by factors like lighting, the angle of your webcam, and what’s going on in the background. Put yourself in their shoes and think about the kind of impression they’d get with your current setup. Better yet, do a couple of dry-runs by putting your webcam’s image onto your own screen, to figure out what you’re working with.
You don’t have to buy a professional streaming setup just for random video chats; all it takes is some elbow grease. Camera angles are important, so maybe you could set your streaming device on some books or boxes. Lighting is crucial too – natural light is best, but not everyone can stream during the day. Just avoid lights that change your color too much, or that hit your face at a really unflattering angle.
The background could be anything at all; extra points if it looks cool. Just remember, random video chats usually feature a big old “next” button. The other chatters will take a few seconds to decide whether or not they want to talk with you, and your background is a factor in their decision just as much as you are. If you feel like you’re getting passed by more than you should be, consider switching up your presentation.
Incorporate a little social etiquette
No, you aren’t bringing the Victorian era back one video chat at a time; rather, you’re simply providing a little social context for the people you chat with. As you begin a chat with someone, just give a friendly little wave and tell them your first name (leave out your last name, to be on the safe side). This establishes an immediate connection, making it easier to move forward with the rest of the chat.
Come up with some ice-breakers or games
You don’t want to match with someone and instantly blank out – you want to say something that’ll kickstart the kind of interaction you’ll both enjoy.
For example: have you ever noticed how polarizing puns are? People either love them or hate them, but everyone agrees that they’re almost always terrible. When you start a chat with someone, tell them the worst pun you’ve ever heard, and ask them if they’ve heard one that’s even worse.
Focus on finding people who share similar interests
Most random video chat sites have thousands of users online at any given time. With so many people, it can feel a little bewildering to know where to start. How do you even know what they’ll want to talk about? Well, one way to find people you’ll enjoy talking to – and vice versa – is to go on a mission.
Think of a topic you feel like talking about and start looking for someone who likes talking about the same thing. Some chat sites let you search by topic, but you could just as easily do the searching yourself. As soon as you’ve introduced yourself, tell them what you want to talk about; if they aren’t interested, just move onto the next chat partner. This type of strategy brings a feeling of focus to random chats, so you don’t get stuck in conversations that aren’t really your cup of tea.
Pick a subject you want to know more about, and start asking around
Instead of talking about something you already know all about, you could use chats as a way to learn about new topics of interest. Random chats are a particularly valuable resource for this since the chatters come from dozens of countries. You could discover how to make French pastries, or learn about traditional harvest celebrations in India – all straight from the source.
Keep an open mind, but don’t stay in situations that make you feel uncomfortable
Most of the people you chat with will be friendly – but not all. If you sense that interaction is going south, don’t hesitate to find a different chat. There’s no repercussion for cutting somebody off, and there’s definitely no reason to feel bad about it. Random video chat sites are often used by scammers, as well as people who simply enjoy bullying strangers. As long as you avoid giving out any personal information, and decline chats that you don’t enjoy, you’ll be golden.
How many new friends will you make with random video chats?
With thousands of people available to talk on every video chatting site, you shouldn’t have any problem finding some friends along the way. It’s hard to go wrong with this many choices – now get out there and start exploring!