Social distancing has put a strain on everyone’s social life, leaving many feeling lonely and generally lacking in human interaction. What many people don’t know is that, as long as they have internet and a webcam, they could interact with people online!
Whether you love talking to as many people as possible, or you prefer more intentional conversations, just about any random cam chat site will give you plenty of opportunities for the kinds of connections you crave. With thousands of users on each site, there’s definitely something there for you and everyone else.
How does this even work? While it’s a fairly intuitive process, it never hurts to get a few pointers before you start.
Optimize the camera angle, lighting, and background
Since you’re meeting people for the first time on random chats, they don’t have a bit of information to go on until you pop onto their screens. This being the case, you want to make a good impression. This isn’t just about being a people-pleaser; it’s more about making yourself look interesting, so people will stay to chat instead of clicking “next”.
You don’t have to do anything crazy. Simply avoid spots that are public, too busy, too bland, or too messy. You’ll probably have to elevate whatever device you’re chatting on, so people don’t feel like they’re talking to your chin. Unless you already have a light that’s meant for filming, use a light source that’s fairly diffuse so you don’t end up with odd shadows.
This is another basic step that gives users some context on who you are. If they see you for the first time and you’re simply waiting for somebody to get your attention, that just looks like you’re disinterested and probably boring.
Instead, start by introducing yourself, and maybe mention what you’re hoping to chat about. For most random video chats, it’s probably best not to include your last name or other personal details, since identity theft can be an issue.
Focus on a topic, hobby, or skill that you’re interested in
With all the possibilities for a video chat, it can seem like choosing from a menu with infinite pages. Rather than letting the algorithm make the selection for you, take charge by deciding on a specific thing you want to chat about. Some sites will let you search by interest or hobby, but you could also just go through the random chats yourself until you find someone who wants to talk about the same thing as you.
Get creative with your conversations! You could try to find people who want to travel to the same place as you do, or someone who’s been there already and can give you all kinds of insider tips. If you wanted to get into a new hobby but weren’t sure where to start, you could ask around for advice. Or, you may have recently mastered a certain skill and felt like sharing what you’ve learned with someone else.
Keep an open mind and be ready to listen
Most of the people on a random video chat site are there for the same reasons you are – to make new friends and have some fun. There are people from all different cultures, all with their own unique perspectives on life. As such, you’re going to run across a lot of ideas that you’ve never thought of before, or that you may not agree with.
Nobody’s asking you to pretend like you don’t have your own opinions, but at the same time, remember that “unfamiliar” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad”. Evolution has hardwired our brains to be suspicious of things we don’t already know about, but that’s pretty much a relic of the past at this point. Don’t be afraid to get into discussions on topics that you don’t have much experience in – you might end up learning something important!
Ask questions that lead to interesting conversations
The struggle to find conversation topics is totally normal, especially for strangers. Fortunately, you can plan ahead and come up with some conversation starters that will get things going.
You could take any route you wanted. Controversial topics will get stronger responses, but you might end up touching a nerve – just be aware that things could get heated. Things like politics, religion, or conspiracy theories can elicit some passionate responses from people. If that’s what you want, great; if not, you might realize mid-conversation that you’ve gotten more than you bargained for.
If you wanted to keep it chill, try some hypothetical questions, like “if you could rule the world, what would be your first decree?” It would be a fun mental exercise for you both, and the answers would definitely be entertaining.
Stay positive – unless you really don’t feel like it
Video chats are supposed to reflect real-life interactions – and real life isn’t always fun. If you’re down in the dumps because of something you’re going through, you shouldn’t force a smile because you feel like it’s expected. Just like there are people who can talk about the most niche subjects out there, you could probably find someone who can simply be a sympathetic listener. The people on video chats can’t be your therapist, but they may still help you through a tough time.
Still, random video chats are mainly used by people for entertainment. Assuming that you aren’t in need of a virtual shoulder to cry on, you’ll have a better chat experience if you don’t talk excessively about whatever’s happened to annoy you that day. Most peoples’ lives are a mixture of good and bad, so when you’re video chatting, try focusing on the positives!
Video chatting may involve a learning curve at first, but there’s really not that much to figure out.
You may have read some of the above recommendations and thought, “well yeah, of course”. Random video chatting has a lot of overlap with real-life interactions, but there are some pretty unique aspects as well. Lucky for you, video chatting is both easy and rewarding to explore!