Angry after a Zoom meeting?  It can be your video image!

Angry after a Zoom meeting? It can be your video image!

New research shows that the longer people look at their heads during virtual meetings, the worse their mood deteriorates during the meeting.

And anyone sipping an alcoholic drink during a Zoom meeting—whether secretly or completely legitimately during a virtual drink on a Friday afternoon—is worse off. Because under the influence of alcohol, people seemed to look at themselves more often during the meeting and their moods were more intense.

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It can be read in the magazine Clinical Psychology† “We were eye trackingTechnology to explore the relationship between mood, alcohol, and focus attention during virtual social interactions,” said researcher Talia Ares. Subjects completed questionnaires about their emotional state prior to the online meeting. They did the same afterwards. During the meeting, as well as the chief interviewer—who they had to talk to About their musical preferences, among other things – they also saw their own image on the screen. Some people had an alcoholic drink before the interview. Others were offered a non-alcoholic drink. And during the conversation, eye tracking Thus determine what the subjects were looking for. “We found that people who looked at themselves more during conversations felt worse after the meeting (…) and those who were under the influence of alcohol looked at themselves more.”

“We’re not sure if people felt worse about looking at themselves,” said study researcher Catherine Fairburn. Scientias. nl† “But what we do know is that they stopped looking at themselves because they were already in a bad mood before the meeting.” In other words, the mood had already deteriorated during the meeting. So the moods of people who look a lot at themselves suffered the most.

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focus on yourself
The discovery did not come as a great surprise to the researchers. Previous studies have already shown that people who focus more on themselves than on external factors, especially during social interactions, are more susceptible to mood disorders. “The more self-focused a person is, the more likely they are to report feelings that go along with anxiety and even depression,” Aris said.

Alcohol does not help
But what surprised the researchers was how people’s moods developed during virtual meetings when they had an alcoholic drink. “There is strong evidence that during in-person social interactions (that is, when people come together physically), alcohol acts as a kind of social lubricant and improves mood,” Aris says. “But it turns out that this is not the case for online conversations, where alcohol consumption made people more self-centered and had no positive effect on mood.”

angry and tired
The research may help explain why Zoom meetings are stressful and generally don’t improve mood. Fairburn asserts that “on the basis of this study, causal relationships cannot be drawn.” “But when you consider these findings along with the many studies linking self-focus to bad mood, it’s certainly not a bad idea (that your on-screen image contributes to a bad mood, editor).”

Outside
The solution seems obvious. Make sure you don’t see yourself on the screen. “Once you’ve verified that it’s nice to see you and that your hair isn’t all over the place, it might be worth your time self opinion So you can focus on other faces,” Fairburn said. “At this point in the pandemic, many of us have realized that virtual interactions are not the same as face-to-face interactions with another person. Many people are tired and sad after a day of Zoom meetings. And our study suggests that your image, which you can see on many video platforms, makes these interactions more difficult than necessary.”

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Although the research by Fairbairn and colleagues is not adequate to determine exactly how certain emotions arise during virtual interactions, and are essentially still there, Fairbairn dares to say on the basis of her research that these virtual interactions are truly incomparable. With meetings in a traditional conference room. “The virtual — when it comes to social elements — is a world that has yet to be explored. Things we thought we knew about interactions can appear very differently online. Rather than making assumptions, it is worth further investigation.”

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