You never know what you’ll get when you hit the “next chat” button on a random video chat site; that’s pretty much the whole point, after all. The variety that’s available on any random chat site can make it seem like the final frontier of social activities, but it doesn’t have to feel that way. You just have to remember a few ground rules, and random video chatting will feel as comfortable as sitting down to a card game in your own living room.
Assuming you’ve chosen a random chat site like Camsurf, you’ll be able to talk with people from all different countries and walks of life. As such, you should expect to have a lot of fun – with a few curveballs mixed in. What you want to do is maximize the good times, and learn how to deal with anything you don’t enjoy, so that it’ll barely be a blip on your radar.
Here are the 5 main things that’ll help you have the best possible video chat experience. They aren’t in any particular order; you can decide which ones end up being the most important to you.
Rule #1: Get your presentation right
To be clear, nobody’s expecting you to look like you’re broadcasting from a Good Housekeeping magazine set. However, it would be nice if it didn’t look like you were joining the chat from an abandoned basement. Everyone’s had those days when they went to the grocery store in their pajamas, but most people want to be basically presentable before they leave the house. By the same token, it’s best if you look like a friendly and approachable person in your video chats. Good lighting will do half the work for you, so take your time to get that right before you start chatting.
Now, a few words about the background. You don’t have to redecorate; you don’t even have to make sure it’s spotless. Just make sure it doesn’t too boring or too crowded, and you’ll be good to go.
Rule #2: Watch out for the rotten apples
Just like in real life, random video chatting comes with the occasional scammer or bully. The good news is, video chatting gives you a lot more control over how the interaction goes: if you sense that things are going south, all you have to do is switch to the next chat.
Keep in mind that most scammers will be extra friendly; after all, they wouldn’t be very good at stealing your information if their behavior made you want to leave. Even if they’re supposedly forthcoming about their own personal details, don’t ever feel obligated to reciprocate with your own information. If you can tell that they’re trying to finagle that information out of you, that’s your sign to find another chat partner.
Sometimes people get a kick out of persuading strangers to do things they’re clearly uncomfortable with, and you may run into this once or twice during your video chats. They’ll make it seem like you’ll be accepted if you just do this one thing, but it really isn’t worth it. Just leave the chat, and find someone who won’t try to play any mind-games.
Rule #3: Remember that most video chatters are just there to have fun
Hopefully Rule #2 didn’t scare you off; those types of people typically make up just a small percentage of your video chatting experiences. In most cases, your chat partners won’t show any sign of sketchy behavior. It’s smart to keep an eye out for anything untoward, but don’t let it define your interactions. Instead, assume that the person you’re chatting with is there with good intentions, and give yourself permission to fully enjoy the conversation.
Rule #4: Be willing to listen to new perspectives
It’s all well and good to look forward to the variety offered by random video chats, but you should also be prepared to encounter unfamiliar viewpoints every now and then. Even if you don’t necessarily agree with them, it could be worth your while to hear the other person out anyway. As long as you both stay respectful, you could still benefit from a conversation that’s technically just two people disagreeing with each other.
There could even be instances where you find yourself writing somebody off because you think you already know what they’re going to say, and you assume that you won’t like it. Even if there isn’t really any particular need for you to keep listening, give it a try once in a while – you might learn something you’ve never though of before.
Rule #5: Be an entertaining chat partner
Even though the success of random video chats can depend on the luck of the draw more than careful planning, you can still help things go in the right direction by coming up with a few ideas before you open up your first chat of the day.
For instance, you could think of some conversation topics that you’re both likely to enjoy. It doesn’t have to be anything mind-bending; you could talk about the relative merits of your favorite bands, or have a friendly argument on whether dogs make better pets than cats.
If you wanted to take it a step further, have some games ready to suggest if there’s a lull in the chat. Stick with the ones that don’t require any equipment, like “two truths and a lie” or “20 questions”. Not only is it easy entertainment, but it’s an engaging way for you both to get to know each other.
These rules cover the basics; you might come up with a few rules of your own as you build your video chatting experience.Random video chatting comes with all kinds of surprises, but if you remember that meeting strangers and making friends is the name of the game, you’ll be a lot less likely to stress out over the few chats that don’t go the way you wanted. In other words, the unofficial 6th rule is: have fun!