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Looking At Yourself During Virtual Chats May Worsen Your Mood; Alcohol May Boost This Effect

    Online Chat And Alcohol Worsen Mood News

    Psychology News

    Researchers at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) showed how online chat and alcohol can cause low moods. The study is published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.

    The Study

    The researchers used eye-tracking technology to assess the link between mood, alcohol, and attentional focus during virtual social interaction. They put the participants in pairs and asked them to converse on a split-screen monitor.

    The ‘conversation partners’ were asked to talk about their likes and dislikes about community living, musical preferences, etc. They also randomly consumed alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages before initiating the conversation.

    At the end of the study, the participants were asked questions about their emotional status before and after the online conversations.

    The Findings

    The results revealed that participants who stared at themselves while talking with a partner in an online chat experienced low moods. Alcohol, in fact, worsened the situation—as it corresponded with more self-focus and less mood-boosting properties.

    This is a particularly serious issue in online meeting platforms wherein staring at yourself during virtual chats may cause face fatigue, worsen your mood, and cripple your ability to connect emotionally and socially.

    One of the lead researchers, Catharine Fairbairn, elaborated: “A lot of folks are struggling with fatigue and melancholy after a full day of Zoom meetings. Our work suggests the self-view offered in many online video platforms might make those interactions more of a slog than they need to be.”

    To Know More You May Refer To

    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau. (2022, June 13). Staring at yourself during virtual chats may worsen your mood. ScienceDaily. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from