Consider your level of comfort.
Some people have preferred not to show their personal life on screens.
“That feeling of exposure has been a challenge for people who don’t have a setting to show those on the other side of the line,” said Munmun De Choudhury, associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who studies health and technology Well-being online. Disadvantaged students who don’t have dedicated work spaces may not want to share with classmates.
As an actress in New York, Anna Suzuki has made a fair number of video calls for work over the past year – conversations with directors, table readings for TV series, and so many other Zoom meetings. She also shares a studio apartment with her partner.
“Because I’m a pretty private person,” said Ms. Suzuki, “I had to find a way that all you see behind me is a blank wall.”
The solution was to create part of a storage room in her mother’s apartment that was conveniently directly below hers. Her “public” seat – an oak-colored table and a black office chair – has created a certain separation between her work and her private life, so that she can turn her “performer brain” on and off, as she described it. It wasn’t always easy. “I really have to split up,” she said. “I still had to create a public persona at home.” However, she also found it comforting to be able to make such a clear separation between public and private, she said.
If you’re not that excited about sharing so much, that’s fine. “It’s fair for someone to tell you what their needs are,” said Poswolsky. “Create a border around ‘I don’t want to let people into my room in a vulnerable way.'”
And consider taking the time to withdraw into situations that are now pausing for you. Dr. Creary said she has seen two reasons for concern among those who enjoyed the firm boundaries they formed from home and are now expecting a return to work: that relocation will reduce productivity because there are many distractions and that he will increase exposure to an unhealthy social environment. She suggested two possible strategies for re-setting boundaries: think about what time of the day you work best, and plan meetings and other commitments accordingly, she said, and weigh what social engagements – dinners, happy hours, and the like – are essential and which ones you can refuse.
“It’s about walking up and down yourself,” said Dr. Creary.
Keep having tough conversations.
Before the pandemic, social media users shared mostly positive personal information, according to Natalie Bazarova, an associate professor of communications at Cornell University who studies public intimacy. But something has changed over the past 15 months. “There is more acceptance for negative disclosures,” she said, citing research she published earlier this year. “There’s this general circumstance that we go through and it shapes our perception of how we think about what is appropriate.”