Practically every pocket in the US is packing a smartphone, and an estimated 40% of teenage smartphone users are frequently using Kik Messenger. If that hefty number has caught your interest, read on for our 5 best tips for Kik Messenger and other online chat rooms!
The internet had already shaped the way the way that we communicate with each other. When smartphones came along and shook everything up, we’d barely had time to settle into our new routine of all-day messaging and always-on connectivity. Now that we have that routine, and smartphones have become a commonplace possession, the market for messaging and chat applications has all but exploded. Developers are fighting, tooth and claw, to be considered “innovative” while still maintaining the standard features demanded by users in their respective apps. It’s tricky, lucrative business, but in spite of how highly competitive it is, several apps have risen to the top. Instagram has become the gold standard for media-based social media feeds while Snapchat provides images and videos that are consumed at practically the same rate they take place. Facebook is a reigning king above them all, providing chat support, news feeds, media, and anything else under the sun that people deem fit to post.
However, amidst the sea of media-rich apps that reduce moments in peoples’ lives down to images and video clips, the chat application has remained relatively unchanged at its foundation. Sure, Kik Messenger boasts a plethora of fantastic features that make it truly unique, but at its heart, it’s still an app that focuses on helping people to communicate with each other. That base level of “words-shared” connection is important, and even though it’s influenced by GIFs, emoji, and links to our contacts’ favorite content, the words are still what matter most.
It should be no surprise, then, that our culture is thoroughly hooked on chat applications and chat rooms. Whether you’re on Kik Messenger or any other variety of messaging platform, none of us can deny that it feels good to be able to stay in touch with our various contacts so easily. Additionally, it’s never been simpler to find new people to speak with. Shared interests can lead people to each other like never before. Coming full circle, nothing enables this sort of constant, reliable connectivity like the prevalence of smartphones.
Though we’ll keep Kik Messenger in the front of our thoughts, we’ll aim these following tips, tricks, and recommendations at a wider online chat audience. No matter how you choose to conduct your messaging (seriously, though, try Kik!), you’ll do well for yourself by reading these five bits of simple advice.
Network, Network, Network!
Though it’s easier than ever to meet new voices through online venues, many users find an initial hurdle in getting to those corners of the internet in the first place. Rest assured, you’re not alone in facing this particular struggle. Additionally, it’s fairly easy to overcome if you let your interests guide your searching.
Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t need a treasure map or an enchanted compass in order to find your way into worthwhile chat groups. Instead, all that you need is a firm grasp on your own interests. When you’re searching for chat groups to join in the first place, make sure you know what you want out of a chat room in the first place. Are you looking for a plainly social experience? Chats based around a specific subject? A few individuals to speak to, on a more intimate level? Knowing what you’re looking for in the first place will help you to find chat partners more quickly.
When it comes time to search, I recommend popular social sites such as Reddit, Tumblr, or Facebook. Additionally, searching for #KIK on apps like Instagram will earn you a plethora of posts from various feeds that have to do with Kik (or, if you’re on a different messaging service, try that tag instead!)
Approach with Caution
Call me overly cautious, but I tend to be careful about my contact information when I’m first confronted with people that I’m meeting for the first time. Whether it’s a one-on-one conversation or a chat group that I’ve just introduced myself to, I’m never particularly eager to reveal too much about myself while I’m feeling out the person (or people) that I’m talking with. While Kik Messenger allows users to be a little more free with their profiles–you don’t have any telling personal information tied to your profile in Kik–other chat platforms might have your phone number or real name at stake.
Besides, there’s always the boon of being a bit mysterious, right? You’re taking your time to get to know the person at the other end of the screen, you might as well let them take their time in getting to know you, too. That’s not to say that you should be too curt or stoic with your identity. By all means, let your chat partners know who you are; just don’t invite people you’ve just met to knock on your front door the following day.
“Don’t beat around the bush,” is how the saying always goes. It’s one of the first and greatest benefits to any sort of interpersonal communications, and it’ll serve you immensely well when you’re chatting with friends and acquaintances. There’s nothing that says you can’t be flavorful and fun with your words when you’re online, but anyone you’re speaking with will be pleased to have found someone that’s not afraid to speak their mind, and more importantly, knows how to speak it well. No matter who you’re talking to, directness leaves a good impression.
This doesn’t mean that there’s any reason to be rude, however. There’s a difference between getting to the point with your words or your opinion and interjecting it where it isn’t particularly necessary. Kindness is its own currency, right? In Kik, the only thing that you need in order to start chatting with someone is their unique username. Given that it’s so easy to connect with people, why not try to be the best chat partner that you can be?
Embrace the Emoji Future
Let’s be real; it isn’t just young people that are communicating in shorthand, abbreviations, and emoji any longer. People of all ages punctuate their sentences with “lol,” and using emoji to convey specific feelings without committing an abundance of words in their place comes hand-in-hand with text messaging and mobile chat platforms.
In short, everyone’s doing it. There’s very little to be gained by not joining in the fun and the truth of the matter is that being able to interpret and use emoji helps to build your own internet literacy.
On top of that, you rarely even need to know the entire emoji lexicon to join in the fun. The prevalence of emoji keyboards can give you an entire spread of emoji to insert into your messages, and many messaging apps will convert your various text-based smiley faces and symbols into their corresponding emoji. Getting in on this trend is good for more than just “giving into popularity,” too. Emoji are popular because of what they allow chat participants to do–say more with less, right? In addition to your traditional library of emoji graphics, Kik Messenger also feature an entire “GIF Keyboard” that allows you to link images straight into your messages. It’s also searchable, giving you ample means to find an image that best suits the intent of your message.
Report Bad Behavior
Perhaps this tip goes without saying, but making sure that a chat platform is a pleasant place to be is a responsibility that begins with its users. Most messaging apps include tools that allow you to report abusive behavior to those in charge of moderating such things. Therefore, when you encounter harassment, bullying, or other such unbecoming, ill-intentioned behavior, the best thing you can do is disengage from it and do your part in policing it–turn it over to the app’s moderators.
In Kik, you can do this by reporting someone by using your chat history. Not only will it help the Kik team to reduce spam; it also helps them to weed out inappropriate behavior from the app. Other messaging apps all feature similar tools that you should take advantage of in the face of such behavior.
The list could go on and on, tips and tricks and suggestions to make your chat experience on Kik and everywhere else smoother and more engaging. Five doesn’t even begin to cover it, but from my own experience, and based on a great deal of testimony pointed towards app developers, the above five tips will help you to have an even greater time on Kik and elsewhere.
Given that we’d love to have dozens of tips for our readers, why don’t you add some of your own in the comments below? You’ve heard our 5 best, so let’s hear yours. Whether you’re a Kik user or a fan of some other online chat application, we’d love to hear your experiences, good and bad.