The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically altered the way we use digital communication technology. During the initial stages, lockdowns left many people isolated in their own homes with no means of communication other than through video calls.
While the pandemic has raged on, we’ve had to rely on video calling apps such as Zoom, FaceTime, Houseparty, Microsoft Teams to perform work functions and stay in touch with loved ones - it’s now become ingrained into our everyday life. However, there is no real substitute for face-to-face contact.
Covid has certainly influenced the way we use video calls; however, the increased use of this communication medium has also drastically affected our overall health too. Below, we discuss the effects that Covid has had on video calls and the way we interact via this digital communication technology.
The effects of Covid and video calls
Today, we use video calling more so than ever; it’s drastically changed the way we communicate with family, friends and colleagues. However, increased use of video calling (due to Covid) has also had a negative impact on our mental, emotional and physical health. Here, we highlight the impacts that Covid and increased usage of video calls have had on us.
Increased screen time affects our eyesight
Spending significant amounts of our time looking at a screen is taxing on our eyes for several reseasons - people tend to sit closer to their screen than necessary, and there is less contrast between the text and background of a computer screen, which puts strain on our eyes. Additionally, the glare and reflections of our computer screens also put stress on our vision. Luckily there are smart glasses out there that have blue light lenses to help protect the eyes while video calling and using your computer.
It’s difficult to convey subtle communication cues via video calls
Subtle signs of communication, such as body language, tone of voice and other non-verbal cues, are essential to decoding and understanding what someone is saying. When you’re video calling and sitting behind a screen, it becomes much more difficult to do this as you’re usually only seeing another person's face and shoulders. This makes it much more difficult to pick up on subtle communication cues.
Video calling has broken barriers
The beauty of video calling is that it has allowed us to overcome several hurdles. Companies can consist of employees scattered across the globe, but with video calling, staying in contact and collaborating with one another is no longer an obstacle. Increased use of video chats in the workplace has also broken barriers for those with disabilities as they are able to work from home in a space that is suited to their needs.
We’re easily distracted on video calls
When you’re in a video call, you may think that you’re paying attention to the presenter, but in reality, our brain is always multitasking and getting distracted. When you’re working from home, you’ll generally have several tabs open on your computer, such as your emails or even social media—having all of this open while video calling makes it challenging to remain present and engage in the conversation.