health

Staring at an image of yourself on Zoom has serious consequences for mental health

7 Comments
By Roxanne Felig and Jamie Goldenberg

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This could reasonably pose a quandary for any business that requires staff engagement via remote video.

Struggling to establish effective relationships within a spirit of teamwork, while not intending to disadvantage any personnel who are potentially impacted (after all, the last thing any manager wants to do is to introduce and promote traumatic stress). While keeping opportunity for recognition and/or advancement available for anyone.

Unfortunately this article does not pose solutions.

Quandary.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

qu. The virtualisation of daily life is here to stay.

Not really. Kids are back at school. The UK is returning to work. I never even got round to using Zoom.

This piece would have had more impact if it had had a more positive spin: 'Turn off self view and feel happier about yourself'. Narcissists excluded, of course. Documenting endless threats has serious consequences for mental health too.

Self view on Zoom is just a virtual mirror. So the article seems to be suggesting women will be happier if they spend less time in front of a mirror, worrying about their looks. That's not really new, but it is a difficult addiction to break.

Do men worry less about their appearance, or care less about it, as they seem to stare in mirrors less, and spend less time (and money) on personal grooming than women. Maybe that's just me being lazy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Glad I'm not a woman.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I kind of understand the point of the article, but it is easy to circumvent (as the article also states). Just turn off your self-view preview, it is something I have never used after the initial setup of the meeting to make sure everything is framed properly.

It isn't like things are changing so much during a meeting that you need to constantly check how you look moment-to-moment.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And yet women live far longer on average than men and enjoy better quality of life with deeper friendships.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Using a koala bear avatar for your Zoom sessions totally circumvents this problem.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Decision making involves trust acquired in these meetings from staff. Trust is largely obtained in confidence in the staffer presenting the data and the recommendations. The confidence is built - or lessened - through effective communication and building relations. An avatar or a blank screen can easily lessen that ability and can lessen confidence in the staffer. Everyone deserves better.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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