• Dr. Emi Garzitto

The Problem With Zoom


What does this do to our social engagement? How does this affect our ability to truly listen and hear the other? Is it possible that the small microseconds of gazing at our own body has an effect on our ability to communicate as well as regulate our own bodies?



We have spent millions of years honing the skill of scanning a room and looking for signs of danger. The small indications on your face and body help others to determine if they are in danger.


We have also spent millions of years honing the skill of scanning a room and looking for signs of safety. The nuance of your mothers eyes and face taught you to determine the signals of love, care, regard and delight. We also learned to read danger, jealousy, anger and annoyance.


When I first began training in a CrossFit gym I was aware there was more banter and more engagement. It took me a while to realize there were no mirrors and so the tendency to look at myself was gone and so I relied on other to engage and provide feedback. I imagine this is one of the reasons why there is more connection and engagement in a CrossFit gym versus a regular gym with mirrors.


All this communicating online in zoom meetings allows us to connect with others while looking at our own faces. We are looking at ourselves as we connect and contact and our focus even for microseconds is split. We look at other and we look at ourselves.


What does this do to our social engagement? How does this affect our ability to truly listen and hear the other? Is it possible that the small microseconds of gazing at our own body has an effect on our ability to communicate as well as regulate our own bodies?


Our nervous system was built on millions of years of small tiny patterns repeated over and over so that we learn to engage in ways that kept us safe. We are losing the practice of reading a face of reading a body and not only does it affect how we engage with those around us but it also affects how we engage with ourselves. For better or for worse our nervous systems evolved with the constant gaze of community. Evolution favoured our attention on another face without seeking the observation of our own.


It is important that we get practice at seeking the gaze of other without looking at our own face.

We need more practice at communicating without having the self-conscious awareness of what we look like. I think there needs to be a setting where we turn off our cameras so that we cannot see ourselves but allow others to see us thus mimicking the way we evolve and engage with other.


When you can use small groups with your cameras on and really take in the practice of focusing on others without focusing on your self.


How do we bring this back into our workspace?


How do we limit the repeated awareness of our own face?

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