The impact of seeing yourself for 15 months

We’ve never seen ourselves in the mirror more than we have in the past 15 months. Not the mirror in your bathroom, but the reflecting image of yourself on the screen in front of you. Every call you have, you see that image of yourself. This will have a tremendous impact on how we see ourselves and our desire to create a perfect image.

The impact of in-your-face-video

More than ever before our attention has shifted from our bodies to our faces, or perhaps everything from the shoulders up. And this will continue. I would argue that we haven’t seen the end of living in a world of pandemics yet and that more of these periods will happen in the next 15 years that will force us back behind our screens for longer periods.

And although we will also return to working face-2-face again, video calls will become a ‘standard’ part of the business meeting portfolio and for many other interactions as well. Videoconferencing itself will evolve and become better and better. What we can do with Zoom today is comparable to where the first generation iPod was some 20 years ago. Imagine where we will end up with video conferencing in 15 years from now.

Polishing up your face

This will have a big impact on us. Who still worries too much about their shoes these days? But we are seeing our wrinkles 8 hours a day, we see how tired we look, and we see how vibrant others look. Aside from all the digital solutions (filters, masks, avatars, etc.) for this, the (partly) return to in-person meetings and events will drive the demand for cosmetics, eye wear, and even face lifts and botox in an attempt to be perfect. In the end we all want our ‘real-self’ to be the person that people saw digitally as well.

So, we are developing a totally new sense of ourselves. I hope that this new sense of self will also teach us to accept who we are. I already see my daughter mimic what she sees on Tik Tok, Instagram and YouTube but she hasn’t started interacting on Zoom yet. When she does I just hope that she will not feel the urge to create a perfect image of herself as a reflection of the filters on Zoom.

The impact of the covid-19 lock-down will have implications in the future that we are unaware of yet. Our new sense of self might just be one of them.