echnology has made it easier than ever to keep in touch with the people we care no matter where they are in the world. When it comes to talking to people you already know -- catching up with mom, chatting with your best friend from middle school, finding out if your sister is responsible for that shirt that mysteriously vanished from your closet -- it's pretty easy to strike up a conversation over FaceTime.
But what about when it comes to getting to know someone new? Whether it's meeting your teammates after landing a remote job, connecting with an online friend, or even going on a virtual first date, more and more situations require us to get comfortable having real conversations over FaceTime.
It’s not always ideal to get to know someone through a screen, but sometimes that’s all you’ve got. And although it has its limitations, FaceTime can actually be a great communication tool and a significant step up from just a phone call. If you’re trying to get to know someone, there are numerous fun things to do over Facetime to spice up your call. Here are a few tips on how to break the ice and have a good time on a video call with someone new.
Today we'll be going over our top 5 tips on getting to know someone over FaceTime:
- Find a quiet space
- Focus on them
- Ask questions
- Plan activities
- Open up
So let's get started!
Find a Quiet, Solitary Space
Before you start your call, it’s important to have no distractions. It’s one thing if you’re FaceTiming a friend with whom you’re already well acquainted, but if you’re getting to know someone, you don’t want to be in a loud space or in a room with other people. Rather, you want the conversation to just be between the two of you so you’re not thinking about how you sound to others that aren’t involved. And you don’t want to be in a chaotic space, like a loud public area; not only are the noises distracting and can negatively impact the conversation, but it also may send the wrong message that you didn’t deem the call important enough to find somewhere private.
Focus on Them, Not You
One of the most difficult things about talking on FaceTime is that we’re all inclined to look at ourselves the whole time. We’re all guilty of it. We’ve all had a video call, whether it be for work or with a friend or family member, in which we spend most of the time looking at the small image of ourselves talking rather than looking at them. Video calls are a unique form of communication because it’s one of the few circumstances in which you’ll really be able to watch yourself talk in real time. But doing so can take a lot away from the conversation. One of the great things about talking face-to-face is being able to see someone’s expressions, their reactions to your conversation, the way their eyes change or their forehead wrinkles when they’re thinking. If you’re spending the call looking at yourself, you’re missing out on one of the best ways to really get to know someone.
Prompt Them with Questions
Now that we’re past the rules, let’s get to some fun things to do over FaceTime to help you get to know someone. First, chat it out. Make the small talk as you wish, but when you’re ready, start hitting them with questions that get them thinking and show them you’re interested. This will take the conversation up a notch from small talk and help you truly get a sense for each other’s backgrounds and personalities. A few favorites of mine are below.
- Top Lists. Listing favorites is a fun thing to do over FaceTime that gets people chatting. Ask them about their top three favorite movies. Ask them their favorite restaurants, or their favorite foods or dishes. Ask them the top three places they’re dying to visit. Prompting someone with their lists of “tops” is a great way to show you’re interested in learning about them - and you will. It’s also a conversation that typically goes both ways. When they answer, they’re probably going to ask you as well. Soon enough, you’ll find you know quite a bit about each other.
- “Where Do You See Yourself in Ten Years?” This one will have you both thinking, which is a good thing. It’s a question you probably take a little more seriously than your top three favorite restaurants. It tells the other about your goals and some of your life visions, and may answer questions like what your idea of a family looks like, where you want to live, and more. It’s a good way to see if you have much in common when looking at the road ahead.
- Cover the Basics. Of course, if you’re looking to get to know someone, you’ll also have to sneak in questions about their family and work. And though it sounds like this may be the least interesting part of the call, it often turns out to be just the opposite. Don’t underestimate how much you can learn about a person by how they talk about their family and their work.
Time for Activities
Now it’s time for the fun. A great way to really get to know someone over FaceTime is to take things up a notch and bring in some activities. Appropriate activities vary depending on who you’re on the call with. If you’re talking to kids, there are even some apps that you can use while on your call that give you fun things to do on FaceTime, like virtual baking, sports, and other games. Otherwise, you can do real life activities, but through the phone.
- Bake Something Simple. Of course, baking an elaborate cake or treat might be a little difficult for you to do together over FaceTime. But if you plan for it and both have the ingredients on hand, baking something simple like cookies or brownies at the same time is a great activity to chat over. Then you can compare the results at the end, and you end up with a treat.
- Watch a Movie Together. This is less of a first-FaceTime call activity and better once you’ve done a little chatting and gotten a little comfortable, but watching someone’s favorite movie is actually a great way to get to know someone. The things we love say a lot about us. Sit down with popcorn and your FaceTime companion, and press play at the same time.
- Play 20 Questions. Don’t sleep on verbal games for FaceTime. 20 Questions is a lot more fun than you’d think, and it’s pretty addicting. You might play a couple of rounds together and find that an hour has passed.
As we said above, getting to know someone through a phone or computer screen isn’t ideal, and it’s not easy. Facial expressions and body language can’t work their magic in the same way over FaceTime as they can in real life, and you may even be dealing with lag time or a blurry screen. However, it’s still possible to have a great time and really get comfortable with someone on FaceTime. So let your guard down and use these activities and prompts to really open up. It could lead to something great!
There you have it -- 5 simple steps for getting to know someone over FaceTime.
Whether you're logging in for your first face-to-face video call or racking your brain for text message conversation starters that will turn into actual conversations, getting to know someone digitally can be intimidating. And while technology sometimes gets a bad reputation as killing the intimacy in our communications, it's very possible to make and maintain real connections, even if you're getting to know someone through a screen. We hope these tips have helped you out!