We’ve been in self-isolation for a hot minute now and, tbh, although some states have had restrictions eased – everything still feels slightly tense.
Whether we’re working from home, studying from home, or wandering aimlessly and avoiding the plague from home, it’s easy to feel a little stressed. Social media has been getting a proper work out to help us feel somewhat normal, and Zoom has become ubiquitous with the COVID-19 pandemic.
But video calling isn’t just convenient, it’s actually good for your health.
Because humans love seeing other faces, seeing friends, family, coworkers, or classmates on-screen actually fires-up your brain the same way seeing them IRL does. How sweet.
Scientists have found our brains have certain areas dedicated to scanning and interpreting others’ faces and emotional expressions. We’ve always been visual and social creatures, from birth. It kind of explains why we hate phone calls, but love texts and emojis.
It’s widely known, too, that any and all social interaction is essential for good health, but especially brain health. But visual contact – in any form – is especially good for us. A study from 2018 concluded that video calls reduce depressive symptoms by nearly 50% compared to audio or text conversations.
And though nothing can beat a good face-to-face chat, video chats were a close second place. Phone calls just don’t give you the same feelings of bonding, and texts even less (even if you flood them with emojis).
It can be tough to go without face-to-face chats and DMs with your buds. Which is why Zoom and FaceTime chats are particularly effective at reducing anxiety, particularly in stressful times. We all know how good it fees after talking to a friend, having a laugh, or just venting can ease our anxiety.
But, speaking to others over video can be just as stressful as (and perhaps more than) speaking in-person. I mean, maybe you don’t want your coworkers or classmates to see your bedroom. It’s your safe space, so giving relative strangers can feel like a bit of an invasion.
In those situations, it’s important to know where the stress comes from – from being on-camera, from showing your home, or something else? Maybe you need to keep your video off during your Zoom lectures, or find a less personal space in your home to chat, or do phone calls instead.
But even if you’re not the most social creature out there, jumping on Zoom (or any video chatting platform) can be a great idea for feeling like you’re still connected when you’re locked indoors.
So pull up a chair, grab the snacks, and teach your parents how to FaceTime. It’s good for you (even if it’s extremely frustrating).
Image Sources: Giphy (@TLC), Pexels (bongkarn thanyakij)