The greatest pandemic of the 21st century – COVID 19 – has gripped the earth. Schools and offices are shut down, restaurants and social spaces are deserted, and people are confined to their homes, finding it tough to pass the time. Most notably, “social distancing” is terminology that has become a part of the active vocabulary of children and adults alike. Having advanced technology is a great boon in these times, though. It offers people a viable option to stay connected with friends and family. In fact, video chatting has emerged as a great option for the young and old alike to socialize amidst the coronavirus epidemic, without losing the face-to-face connection. Let’s find out how we can make the most of this modern form of socialization and what the best video chatting mediums to stay connected are.
Benefits of video chatting
Video chatting is a great way to connect today while the whole world isolates due to the threat of coronavirus. It not only helps with making new friends and acquaintances, but also allows you to keep in touch with family and friends and enquire about their well-being. Here are some reasons why you should take up video chatting if you haven’t already.
- Socializing remotely
Amid physical, social distancing, people are finding innovative ways to socialize online. Turning to the scores of social media platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook, they update their statuses, send messages, and keep in touch with their near and dear ones. If you want to make new friends in this time of “social distancing”, one effective medium that can be effective is video chats. There are hundreds of video chat applications available today, whose basic aim is to help people connect with strangers from all over the world in a bid to forge new bonds. In fact, amidst all the serious and oft depressing talk and news of coronavirus, video chatting comes as a welcome respite. Also, finding somebody to share your views and fears about this dreaded viral threat, helps relieve tension. But if you want to take your mind off the statistics and discuss other things in these self-quarantined times, video chat makes for an amazing outlet too.
Creating a happy environment
Everything is a little glum these days, fueled by dread of COVID 19. People are not stepping outside their homes at all— a rarity with today’s chaotic lifestyles and busy work schedules, and being in confined spaces can get quite depressing. Video chatting can help alleviate these feelings. The prospect of meeting new people to talk to without having to step outside your home is both motivating and exciting. While speaking with complete strangers can be a little overwhelming initially, once the ice is broken it can be a great boon. For instance, there is no requirement to prove yourself. You can be what you are and speak about what you like without the fear of being judged.
Spending a couple of hours in this environment will help set the pace for the rest of the day and help overcome forced “social distancing”.
- Dress as you like
With no office to go to or formal and informal dinners to attend or movie nights to relish, life can get quite boring. You might begin your day in your PJs and end it the same way. However, having to meet somebody through the virtual medium is motivation to fix yourself up. Adding that dash of makeup or trying out a new hairstyle you learned on YouTube can lift your mood. This type of self-care kills two birds with one stone. You get dressed up and feel good like you might during normal life, and you also get to meet someone interesting (even if it is through a screen).
- Communal watching of favorite shows or news
Many video chatting platforms like Camfrog offer free access to videos in countries worst hit by COVID-19 like Italy, South Korea, Spain, Germany, France, and others. Watch videos with your new virtual friends and ditch the isolation blues. You can also use free video to stay in touch with your friends and family all across the globe. Try killing time by watching Youtube videos with others through video chatting platforms. Simply share the video link and watch it simultaneously in real-time. It will give you the feeling of watching a movie in a theater or cheering for your favorite football team together.
Watching shows, news, and other videos of common interests can also be a precursor to interesting conversations. It can make for intellectual discussions and a platform to share your views on myriad topics.
- A good way to network
With the world economy taking a major hit due to the coronavirus pandemic, there is a general lull on the job front. People are scared of losing their jobs, and new jobs are hard to find. Video chats, though typically used for more casual and fun rendezvous, can be a great way to network too. You can join video chat rooms related to your current job or the kind of work you would like to learn, and use this medium to meet like-minded people. You can also use it to find freelancing assignments from home. You might be surprised when luck knocks on your door. Don’t shy away from sharing your professional prowess while you are having fun in this physical distancing phase.
- Have a virtual party
When the parties are out of the question, it is time to take the party virtual through video chat platforms. Many people rely on social networking services for group video chatting to have get-togethers even though they are miles apart. It helps alleviate bad moods, get people out of the monotony, dress up well, and have a hearty laugh. Use these platforms to make new friends and invite them to common chat rooms for a virtual party with drinks, popcorn, and some groovy music. Believe you me, it is a great way to beat the corona blues!
Now that you have understood the various benefits of video chatting during this social alienation phase, here’s how to find a good video chatting platform and use it to your benefit.
- Choices galore
With innumerable video chatting sites and applications available today, it is often overwhelming for those trying it out for the first time. You might not understand which platforms will fulfill your requirements. Therefore, it is essential to know about these video chat mediums properly before plunging into any particular one.
Before deciding on the video chatting platform, it is essential you have a fast internet connection to prevent drops and gaps in conversation. Not only will it spoil the conversation, but also the other person might lose interest in you. Ensure that you have the best possible internet plan that will give you high-speed connectivity.
- Best way to find an appropriate video chatting portal
The first step towards finding your perfect video chat portal is to do thorough research. Browse through video chatting sites, read user reviews, check security options, and settings, and then shortlist your top choices.
Next, check if the video chatting portal has a global reach to provide a wider choice of people with whom you can interact. Video chatting platforms like Camfrog and Paltalk offer this advantage of connecting with people from around the world. This gives you a more extensive choice and also allows you to meet people with different experiences.
While searching, always look out for products that have interesting public chat rooms for you to join. Having such chat rooms is a great way to connect with people with a common interest. You can share your thoughts on different topics and get insight from others, too.
It’s also worth investigating if the chat platforms have the ability to download and share videos, audio, and pictures. This will make chatting more enjoyable and real.
- Safeguard yourself
While you explore all the attractive features of video chatting mediums, it is vital to safeguard yourself as there are many fraudsters lurking around. The first thing you will do after deciding on a particular portal is to create your profile. It will give basic information about you so that people can search for you. While making the profile, keep in mind some precautions.
You should never give out any personal details such as phone numbers and addresses in your profile, as they are visible to everyone there. Also, never share any personal details in the first few conversations with a new online friend, as you might not know their intentions. Initially, it is best to speak about general topics of interest, discuss hobbies, likes, and dislikes, and only if you think the person is genuine and can be trusted should you move on to personal conversations.
- Check for video and audio clarity
One of the main things to review while setting up your video chatting platform is the audio and video quality. On a video chat, it is important to have clear picture and audio. This helps the flow of conversation and in maintaining the other person’s interest. Ensure that if possible, you have a good external HD webcam instead of the low-quality built-in webcams. Also, check out the lighting of the room in which you plan to sit and chat. One sure-fire way of hurting the video quality is to sit with your back to a window or a bright light. Turn your computer in a way that you are side- or front-lit. Also, consider chatting in a location with a visually interesting background. For clear audio, have a proper microphone and ensure that your speakers or headphones are at an appropriate volume.
- Anonymity of identity
While scouting around for video chats, it is essential to look for platforms that safeguard your identity. Platforms like Camfrog allow their users to be anonymous in case they are not interested in sharing their details. This is a considerable advantage as it assures security and also lets you speak without any inhibitions. It is also a good way to protect you from any fraudulent activities.
- Video conferencing facility
Having the luxury of doing a one-on-one chat as well as indulging in a video conference if you want is something that you should look out for on a video chatting platform. This will let you be a part of chat rooms with multiple people in it, thereby connecting you with more people at a time, while also allowing for more in-depth discussions and perspectives when you chat with someone directly. You can also use this facility to chat with your family members and friends simultaneously.
No matter who you are, it’s dispiriting to see your social life vaporized by this grave pandemic. However, thanks to the internet, it is still possible to have a bustling social life. Make use of technology to the fullest in this time of crisis to get your mind off this dreaded disease that is spreading like wildfire. Video chat through easy-to-use and safe platforms like Camfrog to make new friends and reconnect with old ones. Share your woes, worries, or simply have a laugh— you surely will not regret it!