This is a question we can all ask ourselves, now that videoconferencing is part of our daily lives, especially when teleworking! Indeed, several studies have looked at this habit, observed during online meetings.
A way to measure self-confidence
“If you look at yourself during a video conference, you are necessarily a narcissist. Researchers at the Carson College of Business at Washington State University have challenged this assumption. At the end of 2020, they questioned a sample of almost 500 professors and students about their use of videoconferencing and their feelings. They found that people with a high level of self-confidence rarely looked at their own reflection. On the other hand, the more reserved participants tended to focus more on their image.
An obstacle to interaction?
Marketing experts from Columbia and Stanford Universities even found that participants in a video conference could spend twice as much time looking at themselves as they did at their interlocutors. A habit that could slow down long-distance interactions.
In conclusion, in a videoconference as in a face-to-face meeting, it is better to pay attention to your environment to get the most out of your exchanges!
If you are one of those people who are not comfortable with videoconferencing, you can try looking at the camera on your webcam when you speak. Another option is to move away from the camera to avoid the (usually unflattering) close-up effect that can be distracting.