How to Make Group Video Chats More Enjoyable If You Hate Them

If you don't find video chats fun or enjoyable, you're not alone.

Sure, chatting with your friends using Instagram Live, FaceTime or Zoom is easy and especially useful in this era of quarantining and social distancing, but it's also filled with technical glitches, awkward silences and people peering into your life in a way that they might not have before (ie. If you're doing remote learning, now your entire geometry class knows you still have a PRETTYMUCH poster on your bedroom wall).

If you find video chats downright uncomfortable, scroll down for tips on how to make the virtual meetings a bit more bearable.

Use a Fun Background or Filter

You know why that potato lady using Zoom went viral? Because it was pretty darn funny. Now, we don't want you to cause any distractions to your remote learning sessions, friend chats, or whatever else you've got going on in quarantine, but there's nothing wrong with choosing a fun background (on Zoom) or filter (on Instagram) to draw some unwanted attention away from you and your surroundings. Plus, it can make for a great conversation starter with your fellow coworkers or classmates.


Wear a Costume

Not keen on your pals seeing you wear your standard tie-dye quarantine sweatshirt for the umpteenth time in your nightly video chats? Suggest everyone come in a fun costume to lighten the mood and take off some of the pressure. Recreate a look from one of your past school dances, or dress up as your favorite movie character. Much like the background/filter tip, this helps take the attention off yourself, albeit in a slightly different way.

Woman Wearing a Costume
(via Unsplash)


Use the Time to Play a Game

I don't know what it is, but there's something about an awkward silence during a video chat that's 10 times worse than an awkward silence IRL. Is it quiet because a friend is having technical difficulties? Did someone say something totally cringeworthy or shocking but you totally missed it? You may never know. One way to cut down on these awkward pauses is by altering how you use video chatting, especially in large groups.

Instead of using the time to speak into the void without knowing who may (or may not) be listening, use the time to play a quick game—go around and say your rose and thorn for the day, or tell everyone about the new skill you've picked up (or TV show you began watching) in quarantine. Adding even a little bit of organization to the group video chats will help make them a bit more bearable.


Host a Movie Night With Your Friends

Who says a video chat needs to be all about, well chatting, especially when not much has changed from one day to the next? If you're all talked out but still want to stay in contact with your friends, suggest a movie night in which all of you watch the same flick and talk about it intermittently. That way, you still get that bond and human connection you're yearning for, but without the added pressure of talking for hours on end.

Person Watching Netflix
(via Unsplash)


Learn How and When to Use the Mute Button

Most video chatting platforms have some version of a mute button that can be used to silence others or yourself. If you're not into talking with a dozen or so people at a time, this button can and should be your friend. You can use it to quiet down that chatty friend when you need a moment to yourself or to mute yourself when you're trying to work through something.


For more helpful content, click HERE for a list of Instagram captions for all your social distancing pics.