How to Always Get a Reply on HelloTalk: Dos and Don’ts of Interacting with HelloTalkers
No reply. Whether it’s on HelloTalk, Whatsapp, or by email, receiving no reply is always frustrating. Wouldn’t it be great to know how to avoid it?
We all get HelloTalk because we want to chat. We put effort into completing a perfect HelloTalk profile, and take the time to compose thoughtful messages. If, even after all this effort, we receive no reply, it can get us really down. Make us feel unappreciated; even rejected.
But there are ways to prevent this from happening.
This post will help highlight a few basic points about how to interact with HelloTalkers and always get a reply.
Message New People
This is an essential step for a new person on HelloTalk, though it can also be a scary one. Not all of us feel comfortable reaching out to strangers, especially when we do it in a foreign language!
The first step to increase the chance of getting a reply is to make sure you choose the right people to message.
How? By reading their profile and paying attention to:
It might be easier to connect with people in a similar age group to yours. That doesn’t mean you can’t make friends with others, but people of a similar age might be easier to understand and connect with. They are more likely to have similar interests and problems, giving you plenty of topics to chat about.
People are also more likely to reply to someone from a similar age group. We can all get suspicious when we see a message from someone much younger or much older than us. This moment of hesitation could eventually cause us not to reply.
It’s an obvious thing to say, but it’s easier to chat to someone who has similar interests. Messaging people with whom you have something in common also makes them more likely to reply. Why? We are simply more likely to trust and make a connection with people similar to ourselves.
You will probably be messaging speakers of the languages you want to learn, pay attention to whether or not they have mentioned other languages in their profile. Maybe there is another language you both speak or are learning. This could be another topic of conversation to help you connect.
This is a tricky one. Many people hold strong views on some topics. This could be expressed on their profile, or in their Moments. Be mindful when you realise that someone holds a totally different opinion to you.
It’s always worthwhile to try to expand your views and understand those of others, so there’s no reason not to message someone who doesn’t already agree with you in every way. Just be aware that there may be a point when the discussion touches on something that you don’t agree on. You’ll then need to be very careful not to turn it into an outright argument.
If you prefer to avoid such dangers, and focus on language acquisition rather than political debates, it’s OK to choose not to reach out to users with different views. However, it’s also worth bearing in mind that any two cultures will have aspects on which they disagree, and that learning about these differing points of view is part of the experience of learning another language.
Not every disagreement has to be an argument, and it could easily become a positive learning experience.
Interacting With Other Users
Be Prepared to Engage
So, you’ve sent a “hi” message, and have received a “hi” back, and now... you feel stuck! What’s next?
Be prepared that the people you message might reply! Have a plan for what to do next. Think about what you can ask to get the conversation going. Their profile description, interests list, and Moments feed should provide enough inspiration for an interesting question.
Remember, people like to talk about themselves and their interests. Yes, we are all vain like that! :D The more you encourage your new friend to talk about what they enjoy, the more they will like chatting with you.
Try not to ignore any replies. You might send messages to 20 new people one day and then… all of them reply! It’s now your responsibility to handle it. You know how it feels to be ignored, so you don’t want to make others feel this way.
After you’ve been active on HelloTalk for a little while, you may feel you have too many friends to chat to. If you don’t have time to engage with new people, tell them.
Most people appreciate honesty and open communication. Letting them know upfront that you are too busy will prevent them from thinking they were ignored. Otherwise, people may think it was their fault you didn’t want to chat with them, and that’s not a nice feeling!
So, when you get a new message, consider sending a reply like this: Hi, thanks for messaging me! I’m sorry but I already have a lot of people who I talk to, I don’t want to start a conversation that I won’t have time to continue. Good luck on HT!
This, of course, is just an example, feel free to write it in your own words :D
Another way to inform other HelloTalkers that you might be busy is by adding a note to your profile. Informing people that you will not be replying to new messages should reduce the number of people who contact you.
Understand the Difficulties of Written Communication
We don’t rely on words alone to express our intended meaning when we talk face-to-face. We also pay attention to tone of voice, to our pace of speaking, breaks and moments of hesitation, our facial expressions, gestures, and body language.
All this together conveys additional shades of meaning to what the person is stating verbally. A simple phrase like “that’s so funny” can be said seriously, ironically, or with disappointment. These extra bits of information usually come across through voice and body language.
It’s almost impossible to translate these extra shades of meaning into writing. While the meaning may be obvious to us when we write something, our message can easily be misinterpreted by the recipient. This can lead to confusion or, in the worst case scenario, an argument.
So be sure you make yourself clear when you’re sending a written message. You might consider using emoji to help express yourself clearly!
Consider the last point when you are on the receiving end. If something seems rude, or you aren’t sure you understand someone’s intentions, always ask before making assumptions.
Sorry, I’m not sure what you mean...
Can you rephrase that?
You can also write how you understood the message. If you understood it wrong, your partner will naturally correct you.
Do you mean that what I said was funny, or were you laughing at me?
I’m not sure I understand very well. Can you explain what you mean when you say this is stupid?
When things don’t go well.
There can be a point when a conversation is no longer pleasant for you. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone anymore, feel free to stop. But, rather than just never replying to their messages again, you may want to briefly let the person know. This is not only respectful, but will also prevent them from messaging you. For example:
I don’t feel that we get along very well. I would prefer to end this conversation. Thank you for understanding.
If they are a sensible person, they will understand. Of course, not everyone is sensible,but by taking that approach at least you will know that you were clear and polite in your communication.
Empathise With Other HelloTalkers
There are moments when we’re bored and very eager to chat with someone as a form of entertainment. We could be home alone or bored at a lunch break and simply want a hit of positivity.
But the fact that we are in the mood for chat doesn’t mean our friends are. When we message others, whether new or established conversation partners, we should consider their circumstances. Bearing the factors below in mind will prevent you from feeling frustrated or ignored if you don’t get a reply.
HelloTalk connects people across the world. If you are learning a foreign language there is a high chance your conversation partner will be in a different time zone. That means, your “evening chill time” is likely not the same as theirs. Thankfully HelloTalk shows you the local time on your partner’s end so you can avoid messaging your friends at 3am.
You probably know yourself that, unfortunately, there are other things you have to do in life besides using HelloTalk. If not, you probably work for us — or have a serious phone-addiction problem. We all have jobs, families, friends, hobbies, and other things that sometimes take priority.
Understand that a lack of a reply doesn’t mean someone is ignoring you on purpose. They might simply have other obligations that take priority.
Likewise, if you suddenly feel overwhelmed in life, don’t pressure yourself to interact. If you have a sudden change in your schedule, or an event that prevents you from being as involved in HelloTalk as you would like to be, let your friends know. Post a moment saying you might be less responsive, or that you’re taking a break from HelloTalk for a short time.
This will keep your friends from worrying about you; they’ll understand, and will appreciate your honesty.
If you are busy, but still want to use HelloTalk you can suggest scheduling a time. Set aside a time that’s convenient for both you and your partner and have a short practice session. Depending on your learning style, it can be much more efficient than sending scattered and half-distracted messages throughout the day.
Build Up Your HelloTalk Presence
When you do find yourself without anyone to talk to — either because you’re waiting for a reply, or because you’re taking a break from chatting — don’t waste your time! There are plenty of things you can do in the meantime to build up your HelloTalk presence.
Being active on HelloTalk serves a few goals. It shows others that you’re a serious user who’s involved in the community — someone who doesn’t just consume others’ content but also contributes their own. This in turn helps build trust with people who check out your profile.
Apart from that, it’s also an opportunity to be creative, share your thoughts, knowledge, and experiences. That’s what awaits you on top of learning and practicing the language you’re working on! :D
Activity on HelloTalk is not limited to chatting or posting Moments. You can learn by following profiles of active teachers, and make friends with their followers through interacting with their posts.
You can also follow @hellotalkcommunity for some language fun! Our community profile highlights top teachers and popular groups, shares user stories, competitions, questions, and has other prompts to get you chatting!
The Golden Rule
HelloTalk was designed to enable open exchanges, language learning, and making friends. The best way to summarise the rules about politeness on the app is this:
Always treat others as you would like to be treated. Understand. Empathise. Communicate.
Most of all, have fun learning and connecting with people!