Some video chat sites can resemble the Wild West, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any rules. Whether you’re on a standard random chat site, or you’re on an adult cam chat site like Flingster, there are still a few points of etiquette to be observed. Not that you absolutely have to, of course; it’s just that the tips below could make your cam sessions a lot more enjoyable, both for yourself and your chat partners. Some of what you’ll find below will fall into the “etiquette” category, but it doesn’t always pay to be nice online; that’s why there are a few other tips that you might not expect.
Make sure you introduce yourself
When you pop onto your chat partner’s screen, they have absolutely zero context for who you are. If you immediately start talking about this, that, and the other, the chat will probably feel rushed, which isn’t what either of you want. That’s why you should take a few seconds to tell them your first name, and maybe a couple of facts about yourself. Not that you want to expose your identity; just make sure they have some idea of who you are before you jump into the thick of things.
Make an effort to look presentable
Online cam chatting can be very informal, but that doesn’t mean you have to show up looking like you slept in a garbage can. Then again, you also don’t have to look like you’re dressed for Day 1 of prep school; there’s a lot of room between the two extremes. Brush your hair, wash your face, and change into a less wrinkly shirt if necessary. Your lighting setup might need a little work too, as the wrong lighting can make you look tired, creepy, or just like you don’t really care. Avoid harsh angles and fluorescent light bulbs, and use natural lighting when possible.
Ask the other person if they have any ideas
You might have all kinds of things to talk about, but guess what? Your chat partner might want to talk about stuff too. Cam sessions should be a two-way street, so if you’ve been dominating the chat for a while, maybe you should pause and ask for their input. Even if you don’t particularly like what they suggest, you could find a middle ground – or you could just give them a chance to run the show for a while. Besides, if they’re interesting enough for you to chat with in the first place, it won’t kill you to humor them a bit.
Respect their boundaries
You never know what someone else will consider offensive – but they’ll usually tell you if you’ve crossed a line. They might ask you to avoid swearing, to use specific pronouns, or to simply avoid certain topics like politics or religion. In some cases, they’re basically asking you to censor yourself; that may or may not be acceptable to you. In other cases, they’re just asking you to make a small accommodation for an unusual circumstance; that’s basically just a matter of decency. Whatever you decide to do, though, make sure it adds to your chat experience. If you feel like your chat partner is being overly demanding, there’s nothing keeping you there.
Don’t be shy about speaking your mind
One of the best things about cam chats of all kinds is that you can truly be yourself, even as an anonymous random chatter. While there are certain things you definitely shouldn’t be honest about (more on that below), your thoughts and opinions should generally be allowed to flow unfiltered. The exceptions to this are if those opinions are directly insulting to your chat partner; after all, why would you join a cam session if you just wanted to be rude to people? As long as you’re being productive and engaging, though, there’s no need to hide what you think just because you don’t know how others will react.
Leave the cam session if you’re bored, offended, or otherwise disinterested
That’s right – you can leave your chat partner hanging right in the middle of a sentence if you choose to. Sometimes that’s just how it happens, and even though that would be terribly rude in real life, it’s actually the norm on cam chat sites. After all, this is ultimately about your entertainment, so why would you stick around for a chat session that you aren’t enjoying? The only reason would be to avoid hurting the other person’s feelings, but that’s really more than anybody expects.
Report anyone who violates the site’s terms of service
Most cam chat sites have pretty lenient user guidelines, but there are still people who manage to break them – and it’s usually very unpleasant for whoever they’re cam chatting with. If they’re blatantly misbehaving on a chat site, you have no obligation to enable it. In fact, if you start reporting violations consistently, you’ll be helping clean up the chat site for yourself and other users as well.
Decline to share personal information
Assuming you’re on a chat site that keeps its users anonymous (which is typical), it’s up to you how much of your personal information gets revealed to other chatters. If you want to keep your identity safe, you’ll keep that information under wraps, no matter how charming and friendly your chat partners are. A scammer could do some damage with nothing more than your full name and your email address, so if anyone starts acting nosy about your personal details, they probably don’t have good intentions. You could even make up some of the details if you didn’t feel like explaining yourself; not everyone deserves all the facts, especially if they’re being overly inquisitive about sensitive information.
It’s usually best if you act like a level-headed human being when you’re cam chatting, but there’s always some leeway for improvisation if that’s what the situation calls for. Just relax, let your personality shine, and most importantly of all – make sure you’re having plenty of fun!