When you hear “random video chat site”, increasing your creativity probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Not that it necessarily should be; after all, video chat sites are all about making friends and chatting with strangers. But what if boosting your creative chops could be a side effect? Now that’s a pretty great offer.
Say you’re using a site like Camgo. With thousands of potential chat partners, you aren’t going to jive with every single one of them, but you still want to meet people who’ll stretch you a bit. You have to find a balance between sorting out the jokers, and finding people who are a great match for you. As long as you keep your mind open and give your chat partners a chance to speak their minds, the results are bound to follow.
It’s a necessary part of the process, but it doesn’t mean that you should skip every person who doesn’t agree with you 100%. If you only chat with people who think the same way as you, you’re just creating an echo chamber for yourself, and that isn’t much use to anyone. Instead, give yourself a chance to react to new opinions, advice, or viewpoints; that’s where the magic happens! And if you want to talk about a specific topic, check with your chat partners beforehand to see if they’re interested. If they are, great; if not, they can find someone else, and you won’t have wasted your time chatting with someone who wasn’t invested in the conversation.
1. Ask your chat partners for inspiration on various projects
Are you designing a pattern for a new shirt, and you have no idea what to do for the sleeves? Maybe someone in the random chats will have a breakthrough idea for you. Are you redecorating your living room, and you aren’t sure where to put a certain piece? Your chat partners should be able to provide plenty of input.
It’s a great feeling to complete a project on your own, especially if it involves not only effort, but talent. However, sometimes it doesn’t always turn out that way – and that’s fine. Whether you’re browsing Pinterest, or explaining your quandary to someone online, there’s no harm in looking for outside sources of inspiration.
Keep in mind, “getting inspiration” is different from “copying someone else’s ideas”. If you’re making a shirt, are you ripping off every shirt that’s ever been made because you have one section that covers the torso, plus two sleeves? The line between inspiration and copyright infringement may be a blurry one for some, but if you’re the driving force behind the project, you probably don’t have to be concerned about preserving artistic integrity.
2. Learn how to think outside the box
If you’re asking one chat partner after another for advice on a project, you’ll probably get some feedback that you’ll absolutely never act on. Maybe it just doesn’t fit your aesthetic, or it’s genuinely terrible; whatever the reason, you’ll be (at least mentally) turning down a lot of tips.
However, you can still benefit from this type of advice; it can help you see the issue from a different perspective. If you can get used to seeing your own roadblocks from different angles, you could start coming up with more imaginative solutions to your problems.
Sometimes your issue won’t be a question of design or aesthetic; you could simply be stuck half-way through a project, with no idea of how to proceed. Guess what? You could probably find plenty of chat partners willing to help get your gears turning again. Again, you won’t agree with all of the opinions you hear, but they can still be useful for the overall process. Even if it isn’t actually incorporated, someone else’s input could point you towards the solution you needed.
3. Shake things up in your real-world friendships
“Creativity” is a word that’s associated with arts and crafts more than relationships, but it just so happens that your friends could benefit from your video chatting habits. How so? It’s all about being adaptable. When you’re spending time with someone via video chat – whether they’re a stranger or a friend – there are certain limitations involved. For instance, you can’t go hiking together, or visit your favorite burger joint on a whim. What you can do, though, is play games like 20 Questions, have karaoke competitions, or even share a meal on-camera. It certainly won’t replace the real thing, but it can be a great addition to your regular social activities.
Random video chatting can even help you when making new friendships, online or otherwise. You’ll run into all kinds of people on a video chat site, and you’ll likely use the “next chat” button frequently. If you decide to give some unlikely chat partners a chance, though, they might surprise you. And if this can happen online, it can happen in real life too. Instead of quickly writing somebody off as “not good friend material”, maybe you’ll end up with more opportunities to make new friends.
4. Bolster your critical thinking skills
The tricky thing about blind spots is that you can’t see them. Present your viewpoints to a stranger, however, and you could get more than you bargained for. If you enjoy a friendly debate here and there, random video chats are the perfect venue. You won’t just be able to hear about an issue from a different perspective; you’ll also be challenged on your own beliefs. Even if you don’t end up changing your opinions after an invigorating argument, it could still help you identify any logical points of weakness.
So, is random video chatting for entertainment, or personal improvement?
Why not both? How your experience goes will depend on many different factors, but one thing’s for sure: chatting with the right people can be both fun and beneficial. Not every person you talk with will be what you’re looking for, but that’s the way it works. Simply try another chat, and hope for the best!