Saluting digital group-pressure

Since you are already digitally savvy: what could go wrong when 100 % of your activities go online? Still; here are some things you might have missed to consider. It is about how human behavior change, or actually not change, when we go digital. And what kind of digital group-pressure you prefer to leave behind.

When 100 % becomes digital we learn things, even if we assumed we were well prepared. Here three lessons I myself, so far, have learned during these times of Corona:

1. Meetings and lectures are easy to book online. But, when 100 % of the meetings and lectures becomes on-line as such, small mistakes easily become big mistakes. Particularly if you, like me, tend to have a fairly big amount of meetings and lectures.

Time-zones is not something all of us think about every single day. Why would we? And digital booking-systems are not always that good in making Time-zone issues visible and clear to us that are using these systems.

Scheduled meetings have now become somewhat messy for me, just because of exactly just this. I book meetings and lecturing with a lot of people sitting at different places on the globe at the same time attending.

Planned meetings and no-one showing up, at the same time as double-bookings, have occurred quite a lot after Corona and things becoming 100 % digital. Fixing that, at the same time as all meetings and lectures are up and running, is a bit tricky. An interesting challenge.

At the same time: decided time for a digital meeting seem to be more respected than physical meetings. Showing up late seem to relate to some kind of group-pressure, that do not seem to exist in the same way IRL.

It seems to me that we consider it more rude to be late to a digital meeting compared to a physical one. If my observation is correct: why is that actually the case? And if it is; is this then something that will blow over the more we become used to digital meetings and lectures?

2. With like 10 digital meetings per day, several days in a row, I have also made the following observation:

Group-pressure exist, also when we are in the digital space as such, and even without us considering it. If you then are the one hosting a meeting; you can set the “digital meeting-culture”.

Or, if you do not set the culture, participants will.

In some digital meetings I have had, no-one is showing their face (camera muted) but in other meetings I have had: the totally opposite happen.

It is like: if everyone else are muting their camera, you also do it. But if no-one is muting their camera, it feels strange being the one that does it.

Group-pressure I guess.

3. What does normally happen just before we start off a physical meeting? We chat and small-talk a bit. It is also a very crucial thing to do, in order to have a great meting. We calibrate towards each other during this small-talk-phase.

How to do that in the digital space then? Well, we already do it, by chatting for a while, on for instance Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Teams or whatever service we use, before we really let the meeting start.

Have you then noticed a small feature existing in Zoom? It is feature not embedded in most other digital “conference-services”, like for instance Skype. It is a small poll you can create, that participants get, just when they enter the digital meeting.

You can use this feature in order to ask the participants something, like for instance “How are you?”. You can then also share the result with the participants, so they know how everyone else is, just when you start the meeting.

It is a very smart feature, simply because it´s mere existence is based on an understanding on how we tend to act culturally when in meetings.

My experience is that meetings that start off with this small feature become different than meetings that don´t.

Meetings that start off with this feature seem to become better compared to the ones that don´t. Efficiency in meetings seem to go up quite a lot, when this feature is used.

Could then maybe the overall conclusion of these three small details I now have mentioned be summarized like this: who said we stopped being human just because we became digital?

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