An Insight a Day

On Joining Zoom Calls with Random Strangers

Today, I joined a zoom call filled with random strangers. I didn't intend to join, I just happen to find out about it right as the call was starting. So I thought this must be a sign and just joined the call. Twice.

The first time, I chickened out. There was just me and another guy, his video was on while mine was not, and there was only awkward silence. So I left.

I rejoined a few minutes later, and now, there are about a dozen people on the call, all with their video on so I turned mine on as well. They're all talking about something, and I have no context on what they're talking about. They're probably wondering who I am and why I'm here, but it didn't seem to bother them. It's just a social get-together, after all. I listened in for a bit but ultimately decided to leave shortly afterward.

So what did I learn from all this? I'm unnecessarily fearful. It was a random zoom call on the internet with random strangers, there's nothing to lose and everything to gain, yet I didn't take advantage of it.

I could have made small talk and introduced myself when it was just me and the other guy. Best case, I made a new friend. Worst case, a random stranger on the internet tells me to go away.

And when there were about a dozen people, I could've looked for a natural break in their conversation and interject with a comment or a question. Best case, I join the conversation, learn something new, and make new friends. Worst case, they ask me to leave.

There's a near-infinite upside and almost zero downsides! Anyway, I'll try that the next time I join a zoom call with random strangers. Hopefully, it'll yield a better result than today.