You’ll probably never read this in a self-help article, but it’s still true: there’s more to random video chatting than just being a source of entertainment. Maybe that sounds like a bold claim, but there are certain aspects of random chatting that can fill in some important gaps in your life. From rusty social skills to boredom, you don’t have to try to fix it by yourself – you can try random video chatting to help with the problem instead.
If you were on a site like Fruzo, you’d be able to randomly chat with other users, and even keep track of whoever you really liked. Most random chat sites offer one-time interactions with people, but some of them also let you follow other users’ profiles, which is great if you want to build a social network as you meet new people online.
Below you’ll find two different things. First, a few of the ways you could benefit from video chatting. Second, some practical tips that will help you get those benefits. Now let’s get into it!
Benefit #1: There’s always someone to chat with online if there’s nobody to talk to in person.
Your friends do things like sleep, go to work, and take vacations. Sometimes they just aren’t available when you’re in the mood for talking or hanging out. Random video chats, though, are going 24/7. Anytime you’re bored or lonely, all you have to do is hop online and talk with as many people as you want. It may not be as meaningful as talking with a friend, sure, but it’s still a decent alternative to simply going without.
Benefit #2: Social awkwardness is easier to overcome during random video chats.
If real-life conversations are like trying to ride a bike without having learned how, video chatting with strangers is like putting on some training wheels and giving it another go. It’s still possible to lose your balance, but there aren’t really any repercussions – and here’s why.
Firstly, you can be 99% sure that you won’t ever come across any chatter more than once (assuming you don’t end up connecting to their profile). If you know that every interaction is building someone’s opinion about you, that leads to a certain amount of pressure to impress them – or at least not act super awkward around them. If you know you’ll never see them again, though, it really doesn’t matter what they think of you.
Secondly, it’s actually pretty common to come across people who lack perfectly polished social skills, so you probably won’t stand out even if you make some mistakes.
Thirdly, if the conversation just isn’t worth plugging through for whatever reason, you can end it whenever you want and start over. The fear of failure is a major factor in social anxiety, but if you have infinite fresh starts ready to go at the click of a button, what is there to be afraid of?
Benefit #3: You’ll have more variety in your life.
It’s easy to get stuck in a routine; shaking it up is a bit trickier though. There are plenty of ways to be entertained, but they can get old fast; after all, Netflix can only add so many good shows each month. Instead of scrolling through social media one more time to see if anything’s happened in the last half-hour, open up the random video chats. You’ll always have new people to meet, so every chat session will be a brand-new experience.
Now let’s get to the tips; none of them are that complicated, but you’d be surprised at how many people have a hard time figuring them out.
Tip #1: Keep up your end of the chat.
To illustrate why this could help you, here’s what could happen if you left it up to your chat partners to carry each conversation. In very rare cases, you could pair up with someone who’s a better talker than they are a listener, which would work out fine. That’s not likely to happen, though. A more common scenario would be for your chat partner to try to make the interaction work, but without much success. More common still, they’d just leave to find someone more interesting.
To keep this from happening, all you have to do is have something to contribute. It doesn’t have to be anything terribly brilliant; just something that most people would find interesting.
Tip #2: Some ideas for random chats
It’s all well and good to say “have something to contribute”, but what does that even look like?
A lot of people love talking about their interests and hobbies, so that’s a good place to start. You could have a recently completed project to show off, or you could demonstrate your clarinet skills. Maybe you’ll end up exchanging tips on how to restore antique sewing machines. Even if you aren’t both interested in the same hobbies, they could still be a blast to talk about.
Pretty much everybody likes games, so have some suggestions ready to go. Choices like “20 questions” and “two truths and a lie” are generally recognized, and it’s an easy way to get things going.
Tip #3: Go on a hunt for someone who can discuss a particular topic.
Most random video chats revolve around fairly generic subjects, but if you want to bring up something more specific, you can search for a chat partner who can talk about it constructively. You could be trying to find a French-trained pastry chef who can give you tips on how to make authentic croissants, or looking for someone who can satisfy your curiosity about life in Poland. Given the diversity of video chat sites, you’re bound to find what you’re searching for eventually!
These tips should give you a good head-start.
Now you have what you need in order to have random video chats that are both engaging and satisfying. There’s no substitute for personal experience, though; maybe it’s time you went and got some!