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The Weirdness of Watching Yourself on Zoom

The challenges of live self-stream

  • The non-mirror-style self. We are used to seeing ourselves mirror-style. When you move your left hand, it will always be flipped when you view yourself in a mirror. On Zoom, you lift your left hand, and the opposite side moves on Zoom. This feels disorientating. Thankfully, Zoom has fixed this.
  • The perfect self-contingency detection. When you lift your hand in front of a mirror, there is no lag in the image. Now you feel your arm stir and see it move a few seconds later. No wonder we stare at ourselves.
  • Glitchy wifi magnifies the slight asynchrony. The response delay disrupts your feeling of connection with another person. You can't read them, and they can't read you.
  • A documented phenomenon is that we accurately recognize neutral expressions on other faces, but we misidentify our own expressions. We see our own expression as unfavorable most of the time.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Weirdness of Watching Yourself on Zoom

The Weirdness of Watching Yourself on Zoom

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-weirdness-of-watching-yourself-on-zoom/

scientificamerican.com

2

Key Ideas

Recognizing mirrored motion

Italian neuroscientists first noticed the "mirror neuron system." The brain recognizes a kind of micro-kinship.

When we watch a video of someone else smelling something terrible, we will move our face. If someone else's eyes water, so do our own. If they wince in pain, so do we.

The challenges of live self-stream

  • The non-mirror-style self. We are used to seeing ourselves mirror-style. When you move your left hand, it will always be flipped when you view yourself in a mirror. On Zoom, you lift your left hand, and the opposite side moves on Zoom. This feels disorientating. Thankfully, Zoom has fixed this.
  • The perfect self-contingency detection. When you lift your hand in front of a mirror, there is no lag in the image. Now you feel your arm stir and see it move a few seconds later. No wonder we stare at ourselves.
  • Glitchy wifi magnifies the slight asynchrony. The response delay disrupts your feeling of connection with another person. You can't read them, and they can't read you.
  • A documented phenomenon is that we accurately recognize neutral expressions on other faces, but we misidentify our own expressions. We see our own expression as unfavorable most of the time.

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