Virtual or blurred backgrounds in video calls are a tradeoff

It seems like on any given Zoom/Meet/Teams video call nowadays, at least half of the people are rocking a virtual/blurred background. This is more of a tradeoff than we give it credit for.

People’s heads get blurry and weird around the edges. It feels a little less like talking to a person and a little more like talking to a floating face. You’re SOL if you’re in a meeting with someone who talks with their hands a lot. Some people can even get dizziness or headaches from them.

Is it a big deal? Nope. But it’s not nothing. Video calls are already a far cry from being in person, so we need all the help we can get. Virtual backgrounds take a little more of the “in person” experience away.

I’m not saying nobody should ever use them. If the shame of letting everyone see your room would distract you from being engaged in the call, I get that. But realize that it doesn’t come for free; it’s a tradeoff.

Let people see your mess (or buy a divider, or rotate your setup to face a wall) if it helps them connect with you even a little bit more. People don’t care what’s behind you, they care about you.

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