In a recent opinion piece on ScientificAmerican.com, Sarah Dunphy-Lelii ’96 explored “The Weirdness of Watching Yourself on Zoom” from the standpoint of cognitive development. The chair of Bard College’s psychology program, Sarah discussed how young children’s growing understanding of their own image evolves into adult perceptions of themselves in mirrors and now, the ubiquitous Zoom chat.
For those who have grown used to looking at themselves on the outside, her article offers an interesting glimpse inside. “As babies, we learn that it’s ourselves we see in a mirror. But online meeting rooms are a whole different thing,” said Sarah. “That slight asynchrony we like between ourselves and others is unpleasantly magnified by glitchy wifi. Research shows that a response delay of as little as 1.2 seconds disrupts your feeling of connection with another person. You can’t read them, they can’t read you—are they laughing with you, or at you?”