We’ve all seen the “Be Yourself” t-shirts, but it’s safe to bet that the designers didn’t have random video chatting in mind when they were sending off the final drafts. Internet-based interactions are famous (or infamous) for occasionally turning out to be completely fabricated, but Chatrandom sites are a bit different from most other virtual venues. Sure, you can still find scammers or people who simply like making things up, but that’s to be expected. On the whole, how many people will expect you to be genuine during a random chat – and how important is it for you to live up to those expectations?
If you’re using a chat site like Chatrandom, it’ll be easy to find people you’ll enjoy chatting with. As long as you have the right boundaries in place (more on that below), pretty much all you have to look for is people who are being blatantly annoying or inappropriate. But what about the people you end up talking to – are they really who they say they are? Maybe a better question would be: does it really matter?
When and why authenticity is important
Here’s something to keep in mind about Chatrandom video chatting: you generally don’t get that involved with someone before moving onto the next chat. This isn’t a free pass to make up stories about yourself, but the fact remains that even if you do, your chat partner won’t know the difference, they’ll never find out, and they’ll never feel betrayed. As long as your chats remain anonymous, it probably won’t impact your chat partner at all.
However, not all random chats are anonymous, and even some of the ones that are can result in a real connection. So do you want to form a friendship as some made-up “cooler” version of yourself, or do you want to start out with something more solid?
Then there’s the fact that if you get too used to embellishing your life to people online, you might get a little too comfortable with it in real life too – and that could easily come back to bite you. In other words, it may not affect your chat partners, but it certainly could affect you. This is why, in general, it’s probably best to just “be yourself” when you’re chatting with strangers online. It makes life simpler, and you’ll probably feel better about yourself too.
When you definitely shouldn’t be authentic
Being basically genuine tends to work out best, but there are a few situations in which the opposite is actually better. What you need to keep in mind is that, even if your chat partner expects something of you (like authenticity), you don’t actually owe them anything. You can contribute whatever you’re comfortable with, and that’s just what they’ll get.
Random chat sites are full of people who just want to time pass with some entertaining conversations, but mixed in with those people are chatters who are interested in something less pleasant, like putting you down or even stealing your identity. Given the fact that you’ll probably run into these types of people at some point, it’s smart to avoid giving any kind of sensitive information, either voluntarily or in response to their questions.
Plus, sometimes you just don’t feel like bonding with someone – and sharing about yourself is an important part of building a connection. If the vibe just isn’t right, it’s perfectly fine to paint with broad strokes, as it were. You don’t have to invent an alter-ego just to avoid accidentally forming a friendship, but you also don’t have to go into detail about your beloved family dog. Another alternative, and one that’s a lot faster, is to simply jump to the next chat; it’s up to you.
Why boundaries matter when random video chatting
When you’re considering things like expectations and boundaries in Chatrandom video chatting, it’s important to consider why you’re there in the first place. Chances are, you aren’t looking for a life-long friendship in the random chats; you’re more likely to find some chat partners who you’ll enjoy talking with for an hour or two. Part of the schtick of random chatting is that you’re talking anonymously with strangers, so it isn’t exactly important to be completely honest and up-front with everyone you meet.
This perspective can apply to your chats in general, but there’s one particular reason why this matters: it applies to the way you set boundaries. For example, it could be a bit insulting if you refused to reveal your last name or contact information to someone you’re becoming friends with in person. After all, that’s pretty relevant to most friendships, right? The ground rules are a little different when you’re chatting online, though. Most friendships start, develop, and end within a short time frame, so the technical details are irrelevant.
This means that if a chat partner is pressuring you – jokingly or otherwise – to give up personal information that they really don’t need, that’s a big red flag. Identity theft can happen with surprisingly little information, so when you’re making a new friend, pay attention to what they seem to be interested in. Is it you, or are they just after your personal details?
Which expectations should you pay attention to?
Authenticity might not be the universal language of random video chatting, but there are a couple other things that you should always bring to the table. For instance, try to come prepared with various talking points, or some method of entertainment that you’ll both enjoy. After all, that’s the whole point, isn’t it? You’ll also get better results if you make yourself (and your background) look presentable and friendly.
What else is there to say? Now all that’s left to do is to try Chatrandom video chatting for yourself! Whether you decide to just stick with common-sense boundaries, or you end up embellishing your life a bit, you have the flexibility to make your random chats into whatever you want them to be.
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