It isn’t that hard to find out what the basic random video chatting experience is like. There are plenty of people who give you advice like “make sure you’re friendly”, and “don’t overwhelm your chat partners by talking too much”. Stuff like this is handy to know, but it doesn’t really give you the full picture. Who will you meet in all these fun random video chats? Nine times out of 10, the stock answer will be “strangers who want to enjoy themselves just like you!”. Again, nice to know, but not very informative.
While you can’t really know what random video chatting is like until you’ve tried it yourself, it never hurts to get some solid information on it first. If you decide to use a chat site like Camsurf, for example, you could easily jump right in and see what you find – or you could get a few background details so you know what to expect. Some people prefer to know what they’re doing beforehand, while others appreciate the process of figuring things out for themselves. Whatever happens to be the case for you, the following details should still be relevant for your next foray into the random video chats.
#1: The joker
There are a lot of social freedoms on random chat sites, mainly thanks to the fact that you aren’t really expected to observe a lot of the usual conventions. As a result, some people take the opportunity to put their weird sense of humor on full display. You may come across chat partners posing in bizarre costumes, using strange accents, or telling improvised jokes that aren’t actually that funny – not that they care, but still.
They’re usually either using the chats to express themselves without fear of judgment, or to mess with people without any repercussions. If you end up in a chat with someone who’s really putting on a show, you can stay or leave – whatever you want. However, keep in mind that you aren’t obligated to stick around if you don’t like the way things are going. Most of your chat partners will be fine, but a few of them could push the interaction into harassment territory. In that case, it’s time to head out and find another chat.
#2: The introvert
You may have heard of the advantages of random video chats for anyone with social anxiety. Even if the introvert doesn’t experience anxiety around people per se, they still aren’t necessarily that quick to open up. You may be tempted to write them off in the first minute or so of the chat, but if they seem really laid-back, maybe all they need is a couple of minutes to get into the swing of things.
This is usually the kind of chatter who ends up surprising you. Whether they come out of left field with a strong opinion that you weren’t expecting, or they surprise you with a perspective that they’ve obviously put some thought into, these chats could end up being some of your favorites. You won’t get the same entertainment factor as you would with other personalities, but sometimes it’s nice to take things at a slower pace.
#3: The scammer
This kind of random chatter isn’t there to have fun; they’re looking for someone who’ll hand over sensitive information to their chat partners. Without letting a sense of mistrust overshadow your random chats, just remember that scammers won’t appear in a bandit mask and start demanding your bank details; they’re more likely to portray themselves as your new best friend, establishing trust early on and then trying to coax out some of your personal details.
They might even tell you their own (fake) information so you’ll feel like you have to reciprocate. After all, wouldn’t it be awkward if they trusted you like that, and then you refused to trust them back? That’s what they want you to think, anyway. Instead, turn it around on them. If they were really your friend, then why are they subtly pressuring you to expose your personal information online? Even if they seem personable and harmless, no short-term friendship is worth the risk.
#4: The talker
This person puts the “chatting” in “random video chatting”. They’ve discovered a source of unlimited people who will listen to them, and they’re using the opportunity for all it’s worth. You could find yourself talking to someone who’s simply under-socialized, or matched with a chat partner who’s seemingly forgotten that you might want to join in on the conversation too.
When you’re talking with this kind of chat partner, you can pretty much assume that you won’t actually be talking much – you’ll mostly be listening. However, that isn’t always a bad thing. This is where you could hear some of the most interesting stories, or pick up some expertise from someone who specializes in a cool skill. Even if they don’t really have the gift of speaking concisely, efficiency isn’t typically a top priority when you’re random chatting. As long as you’re still enjoying yourself, there’s no harm in hearing them out.
#5: The explorer
Most random chatters depend on the luck of the draw to bring them entertainment, but this person has joined the chats looking for something specific. You might run across a fellow chatter who wants to talk to another Star Wars enthusiast, someone who needs honest feedback for a new cosplay ensemble, or an amateur chef who wants to exchange BBQ sauce recipes.
You may not have your own secret sauce recipe to swap, but you can still bond over a shared enthusiasm of whatever topic they’re interested in. You might remember another special recipe, put together a quick outfit for review, or bring up your own favorite movie franchise for discussion.
The categories above are obviously generalizations, but you may realize that they cover a surprisingly large percentage of the people you meet while random chatting. Now all you have to do is join a random video chat and see what happens!