submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by netvor@lemmy.world to c/showerthoughts@lemmy.world

When I speak, unless I'm sharing the screen I always keep looking at myself. It's kind of strange -- it clearly does not match a real-world conversation, but somehow I can't help it.

Edit: More context -- I'm wondering if others have it, if this is something that can be explained by some "brain" thing, and also how does it affect the conversation.

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[-] ptz@dubvee.org 83 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

I try not to, but more often than not, it's pretty much exactly this (whether I'm talking or listening):

I get on a video call, and I basically turn into a bird with a mirror.

[-] owenfromcanada@lemmy.world 26 points 2 months ago

Consider where you look when you're talking to someone in person. Do you look at them continuously? We generally don't do that, it ends up being weird and creepy. Our eyes wander as we talk, so it's natural that we'd do the same during a video call.

And consider this: when your own face is visible to you, when aren't you looking at yourself? Typically when I see my face, it's in a bathroom mirror, and it's natural to look at yourself (whether to take note of your appearance or otherwise).

So I think it's pretty natural, and I'm guessing lots of people do it.

[-] Dozzi92@lemmy.world 2 points 2 months ago

I look slightly above their eyes, at the forehead or even as high as their hairline. I do not break contact with their upper face.

[-] Pantoffel@feddit.de 1 points 2 months ago

Sir, what are you looking at? Are you even listening?

[-] FiniteLooper@lemm.ee 20 points 2 months ago

Only to check and make sure I look normal every now and then.

I hate when the person sharing their screen brings up their view of the video chat, so now I see myself full screen and I don’t want that

[-] Puttaneska@lemmy.world 5 points 2 months ago

Yeah…it’s worth checking that your face is centralised.

Last week my wife ran a video call at work with the camera on her cleavage.

[-] ralakus@lemmy.world 1 points 2 months ago

The infamous Twitch streamer camera setup

[-] abbadon420@lemm.ee 14 points 2 months ago

Yes, I make multiple video calls per day for my job and my eyes always drift to myself.

[-] acetanilide@lemmy.world 13 points 2 months ago

Yes. IIRC it's one reason video conferencing is so exhausting

[-] gimpchrist@lemmy.world 12 points 2 months ago

I just love looking at myself I think I'm great haha I also like to make sure that my facial expressions are matching my inside emotions ...a lot of the time they are and I like the reassurance of that.... I also like to practice facial expressions and then look at myself to make sure I'm executing them correctly. But mostly I just like my face and what it does haha

[-] RickRussell_CA@lemmy.world 10 points 2 months ago

This is why customer service folks often keep a mirror by the phone, looking at their own faces helps to keep their emotions in check when dealing with a difficult customer.

[-] netvor@lemmy.world 1 points 2 months ago

I just love looking at myself I think I’m great haha I also like to make sure that my facial expressions are matching my inside emotions …a lot of the time they are and I like the reassurance of that… I also like to practice facial expressions and then look at myself to make sure I’m executing them correctly. But mostly I just like my face and what it does haha

... -agen.

[-] gimpchrist@lemmy.world 9 points 2 months ago
[-] netvor@lemmy.world 10 points 2 months ago

funny how lot of comments are saying "i also look at my face while other person is talking"

what I meant when I was writing this post: looking at my face while I was talking.

...on second thought, I'm not sure, I might as well just be looking at myself 100% time.

[-] ptz@dubvee.org 6 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

When I'm talking, I try to look at the camera (which is on my middle monitor). Depending on which monitor the video call is displaying on, sometimes I'm not even looking at any of the participants or myself. That does seem to help me act more "natural".

[-] where_am_i@sh.itjust.works 7 points 2 months ago

We're just all tiny little narcissists.

[-] dexa_scantron@lemmy.world 7 points 2 months ago

Yep. Everybody does. Watch where their eyes are pointing, you can tell. I hide the window on apps that let me (or un-maximize the window and slide it off the screen a bit if I'm on one side).

[-] GBU_28@lemm.ee 5 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

I am not a child. I move my frame dead center so I never drift.

This is at minimum my second rodeo

[-] netvor@lemmy.world 4 points 2 months ago

From where their eyes are pointing I can only tell whether or not they're looking at the camera, but if they are looking elsewhere, I have no way of knowing if that other place is my face or theirs or anything else (even outside scope of the talk -- it could be a bug crawling on their desk for all I know).

[-] dexa_scantron@lemmy.world 1 points 2 months ago

If they're consistently looking down and to the right (for most apps) and not scanning/reading, they're probably looking at their own video. I've certainly noticed it.

[-] sbv@sh.itjust.works 6 points 2 months ago

I do. I spend a fair amount of time glancing between my thumbnail and the speakers.

Sometimes I turn my thumbnail off, so I don't do it, but then I worry that I have a booger hanging out my nose, so I turn it back on.

[-] netvor@lemmy.world 3 points 2 months ago

but that just opens the worrying space more: what if you turned the camera back on and there it was? isn't it better to not know? 🙃

[-] sbv@sh.itjust.works 3 points 2 months ago

why are you doing this to me?

[-] snooggums@midwest.social 6 points 2 months ago

I stare at the camera so everyone else can see me staring into their soul.

J/k, I look at whoever is talking or whoever has some eye catching background, which sometimes is me.

[-] possiblylinux127@lemmy.zip 4 points 2 months ago

Don't blink or show any emotion. Just stare stone cold into the camera

[-] netvor@lemmy.world 1 points 2 months ago

bonus points if they think that your connection is lagging

[-] possiblylinux127@lemmy.zip 2 points 2 months ago

Just start adding random pauses when you speak

[-] Dozzi92@lemmy.world 3 points 2 months ago

I swear people in on Zoom to testify and for some reason I took to looking at the camera because it perhaps makes it more official, since I assume they're looking at me. I dunno. Life is one big joke.

[-] HottieAutie@lemmy.dbzer0.com 6 points 2 months ago

I might be odd here. I don't look at myself, and if I could hide my video feed from myself, I would. I think I look strange, so I find it distracting. I also avoid watching myself on video in general.

[-] Daxtron2@startrek.website 1 points 2 months ago

I know that's possible on Teams and discord

[-] kryptonianCodeMonkey@lemmy.world 5 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

I do it as well. If I'm not actively speaking and the person speaking isn't presenting something that I need to look at, I usually end up bouncing back and forth between the speaker and my image.

I don't want to necessarily apply logic to it because I don't think it's a conscious, logic decision I'm making. But if I had to try, I'd say that the reasons are A) I cannot "look them in the eye" as I would in person without looking directly at my camera, which is both weird and means I'm literally looking away from them. That is the paradox of video calling. B) Looking at them, versus looking literally anywhere else on your screen makes no tangible difference to anyone else looking at your video feed. C) I want to make sure I am not looking ridiculous while blasting my image to a dozen people. No double chin, no resting bitch face, no glazed look, no boogers, etc. D) Staring at anyone else would feel weird, invasive, and distracting to me, including the speaker, if they are not actively speaking to me. It feels like I'm eavesdropping when I'm not actively being addressed. E) Gotta take advantage of having eyes on the back of your head. Never turn your back on your enemy. Stay vigilant. The cat will not pounce me and claw my back mid-meeting again.

[-] gregorum@lemm.ee 4 points 2 months ago

I wanna make sure my hair looks nice and that the camera is positioned properly

[-] hperrin@lemmy.world 3 points 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago)

Yeah. I look at whoever is talking, even when it’s me.

[-] motorwerks@sopuli.xyz 3 points 2 months ago

I combat this habit by placing a window over the top of whatever app I'm using for the video call so my eyes stay on the camera. That strategy is foiled the moment screen sharing becomes required, but more often than not I know exactly what they're talking about. As I've never been on the receiving end of this strategy who knows if it makes me look better or like a weirdo..

[-] netvor@lemmy.world 2 points 2 months ago

who knows if it makes me look better or like a weirdo…

both. I've recently realized that during our 1on1 calls my boss is "looking at me", which always made me feel more listened, overall better.

I mentioned that on a different, informal call, like, "are you using some tricks..." and he told us he's doing no tricks, it's just that the camera happens to be close enough to the screen where he places the call window, and that's a laptop which is far enough that the angular difference is negligent. So that made him look better.

(And I think it's even better than looking at the camera; he was kinda looking at both, me & the camera.)

But I suspect that this can bite back quickly if you're in a meeting with several people and say, for a minute you (say, Alex) are exchanging ideas with one person, say, Bob while others (Cathy, Dan) are listening. The weird part is that in Bob, Cathy and Dan's visual experience you're directly looking at them, which will seem natural to Bob, but strange to to Cathy and Dan since they know you're talking to Bob right now so why the heck you keep peeking at them for so long, as if you want them to jump in to the convo or something..

If the situation was similar as I've described for my boss (smaller screen, further away), then it can even be affected by the way Cathy and Dan's videos are arranged on your screen. Not all are going to be closest to the camera, only the closest one to the camera could feel an eye contact, but that's not going to change according to who you are talking to. (There could be some technology or call UI design to help with that...)

Overall, I think with some video-calling experience people will generally adapt for the situation over time, but it may differ individually...

[-] KyuubiNoKitsune@lemmy.blahaj.zone 2 points 2 months ago

We use zoom for work and I enable my video feed as a full panel like every other participant, only time it feels weird or gets annoying is when there's only 1 other person on the call and our feeds sit side by side. I don't like how I look and have anxiety, so I guess I use it to make sure that I don't look weird or something.

[-] mvirts@lemmy.world 2 points 2 months ago
[-] QuarterSwede@lemmy.world 2 points 2 months ago

At work I hide myself. Wish we could on FaceTime, it’s super distracting.

[-] helmet91@lemmy.world 2 points 2 months ago

I find it weird to look at my thumbnail video, so I almost never do that.

  1. If I have the chance, I don't even enable my webcam. It depends on the workplace...
  2. Generally, I always look at my notes, because I'm unable to keep all the necessary things in my mind while talking.
  3. If no notes are needed for whatever reason, I just look at others in the meeting.

If I look at myself, that happens maybe at the very beginning to check what's in the picture, but I always hate looking at myself.

[-] brap@lemmy.world 1 points 2 months ago

I just don't share the video. Much easier.

this post was submitted on 13 Apr 2024
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