Up Close and Personal

Amy LenzoConscious Use of TechnologyLeave a Comment

This is an excerpt from a LinkedIn post Rhonda Tranks wrote after participating in an online Hybrid World Café I co-hosted with Kazuaki Katori & Masato Tahara at the 2017 IAF Asia conference in Seoul.

When we talk on a video call our faces can be as large as my face is in this image above. How often do we get so close to people in normal conversation? Think about it. When we sit across a table from someone – even at a coffee meeting we are very rarely that physically close. Because we are focused directly on a screen there is less distraction from our peripheral vision and less averted gaze. We are literally eyeballing each other – up close and personal.

With video calls we tend to lean right into our screens/cameras. Maybe it’s to hear or be heard or read the chat box but we do come right up close to the camera and hence appear large on the other person’s screen. My face seen this close on a laptop screen is actually bigger than my real face. It’s magnified in all its agéd glory, complete with wrinkles, scars and imperfect teeth. That level of facial detail is usually only reserved for the most intimate people in our lives. I’ve started to wonder what this means for professional relationships. It is increasingly easier to work “wherever” and working across different times zones is increasingly the norm. Many of us now conduct on-line business meetings and interviews from our private homes / personal space. This gives us a more personal connection as we see kitchens and paintings on the living room walls behind.

Read Rhonda’s whole post here.

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