Zoom has a feature called “Hide Self View” where you still show your camera to the people you are in a meeting with, but not see a live view of yourself. As I think about this, “Hide Self View” is ironically about showing MORE of your true self to others.
With your own camera visible to yourself the entire time, it’s too easy to constantly compose the kind of impression or message you want to send to the other people you are conversing with.
Here’s what my interior monologue sounds like sometimes on a Zoom call: “How does my hair look right now? Maybe it would look better from this angle? Do I seem interested in what the other person is saying? Maybe I should look into the camera more intently and nod every few seconds.”
Hiding self-view is relinquishing some control over my public facing image, and just being in the moment. If I’m bored, I’m going to look bored. If I’m distracted, my gaze will wander. Just like in a real, unmediated conversation. Which is ultimately what I want to strive for, whether in person or through whatever technology.