In the face of a global pandemic, billions of people worldwide are stuck at home observing governments’ social distancing guidelines. The interpersonal interactions that characterize humanity have been interrupted by an invisible disease. In response to the loneliness and isolation created by mandated quarantines, many people have turned to technology. Which begs the question: Has technology helped connect people or isolate them?
It’s clear that COVID-19 is redefining society’s relationship with everyday technologies that make socialization still possible. Illness has created a void and innovation is jumping in to fill it.
“This is the first time we’ve lived through an event as a global community that requires us to physically distance from each other at the same time that we have these technologies that allow us to remain digitally connected.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing is a public health practice that aims to prevent sick people from coming in close contact with healthy people in order to reduce opportunities for disease transmission. It can include large-scale measures like cancelling group events or closing public spaces, as well as individual decisions such as avoiding crowds.
With COVID-19, the goal of social distancing right now is to slow down the outbreak in order to reduce the chance of infection among high-risk populations and to reduce the burden on health care systems and workers. Experts describe this as “flattening the curve,” which generally refers to the potential success of social distancing measures to prevent surges in illness that could overwhelm health care systems.
All of these recommendations are meant to help foster compliance with what many public health officials say is one of the most important strategies for everyone to comply with (not just those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 or feel sick): social distancing.
Social distancing is not an easy thing to do, but it’s necessary when facing a pandemic. Given that it can feel extreme, lonely and sad to avoid people, here’s how you can do your part to reduce the spread of the virus, but still stay sane and feel connected to those you love. Remember, it’s a temporary measure that can help protect countless others (and yourself) in the long run.
Why is social (physical) distancing so important?
Health officials have repeatedly stated that physically distancing ourselves from other people is critical to try and limit the spread of COVID-19 as best we can.
The rationale behind social (physical) distancing is to try and avoid a huge spike in COVID-19 cases that will put too much strain on our health care system all at once. If everyone gets sick at the same time, hospitals will be overwhelmed, and won’t have the capability to provide the necessary treatment for everyone.
Instead, we can focus our efforts to “flatten the curve” and prevent that spike in cases. If everyone does their part and practices social (physical) distancing to slow the rate of COVID-19 spread, it will give hospitals a fighting chance to continue to have room, necessary supplies and health care providers for all patients who need care. This will protect those individuals at greatest risk of serious complications or death.
Different Communication Technologies to Help in Social Distancing
From health care to education to media, social distancing across the globe due to coronavirus (COVID-19) has created the need to conduct business “virtually” using Skype, web conferencing, FaceTime and any other means available. With this expansive use of mobile and video devices, now more than ever, it is important to understand how the use of these technologies may impact communication. But are all forms of online communication alike?
In a first-of-its-kind study, demonstrate that a person’s gaze is altered during tele-communication if they think that the person on the other end of the conversation can see them. People are very sensitive to the gaze direction of others and even 2-day-old infants prefer faces where the eyes are looking directly back at them. The phenomenon known as “gaze cueing,” a powerful signal for orienting attention, is a mechanism that likely plays a role in the developmentally and socially important wonder of “shared” or “joint” attention where a number of people attend to the same object or location. The ability to do this is what makes humans unique among primates.
Throughout almost all of human history, conversations were generally conducted face-to-face, so people knew where their conversational partner was looking and vice versa. Now, with virtual communication, that assumption no longer holds — sometimes people communicate with both cameras on while other times only the speaker may be visible. The researchers set out to determine whether being observed affects people’s behaviour during online communication.
The researchers wanted to know if face fixation would increase in the real-time condition based on the social expectation of facing one’s speaker in order to get attention or if it would lead to greater face avoidance, based on social norms as well as the cognitive demands of encoding the conversation.
Similarly, they wanted to know where participants would fixate on the face. Would it be the eyes more in the real-time condition because of social demands to make eye contact with one’s speaker? Or, in the pre-recorded condition, where the social demands to make eye contact are eliminated, would participants spend more time looking at the mouth in order to encode the conversation, which is consistent with previous studies showing greater mouth fixations during an encoding task.
Results of the study showed that participants fixated on the whole face in the real-time condition and significantly less in the pre-recorded condition. In the pre-recorded condition, time spent fixating on the mouth was significantly greater compared to the real-time condition.
There were no significant differences in time spent fixating on the eyes between the real-time and the pre-recorded conditions. These findings may suggest that participants are more comfortable looking directly at the mouth of a speaker — which has previously been found to be optimal for encoding speech — when they think that no one is watching them.
To simulate a live interaction, the researchers convinced participants that they were engaging in a real-time, two-way video interaction (it was actually pre-recorded) where they could been seen and heard by the speaker, as well as a pre-recorded interaction where they knew the video was previously recorded and therefore the speaker could not see their behaviour.
“Because gaze direction conveys so much socially relevant information, one’s own gaze behaviour is likely to be affected by whether one’s eyes are visible to a speaker. “For example, people may intend to signal that they are paying more attention to a speaker by fixating their face or eyes during a conversation. Conversely, extended eye contact also can be perceived as aggressive and therefore noticing one’s eyes could lead to reduced direct fixation of another’s face or eyes. Indeed, people engage in avoidant eye movements by periodically breaking and reforming eye contact during conversations.”
There was a highly significant tendency for participants engaging in perceived real-time interaction to display greater avoidant fixation behaviour, which supports the idea that social contexts draw fixations away from the face compared to when social context is not a factor. When the face was fixated, attention was directed toward the mouth for the greater percentage of time in the pre-recorded condition versus the real-time condition. The lack of difference in time spent fixating the eyes suggests that the additional mouth fixations in the pre-recorded condition did not come at the cost of reduced eye fixation and must have derived from reduced fixations elsewhere on the face.
Comparisons between total fixation durations of the eyes versus the mouth were calculated for both the real-time and pre-recorded conditions, with the eyes of both conditions being significantly more fixated than the mouth. Gender, age, cultural background, and native language did not have an influence on fixation behaviour across conditions.
Regardless of the specific mechanisms underlying the observed differences in fixation patterns, results from our study suggest participants were taking social and attentional considerations into account in the real-time condition. “Given that encoding and memory have been found to be optimized by fixating the mouth, which was reduced overall in the real-time condition, this suggests that people do not fully optimize for speech encoding in a live interaction.”
This article was brought to you by Safe Space. Safespace is itself a provider a safety technologies and provides related services as required by its customers.
SafeSpace: A Safety System that Qualifies, Secures and Monitors travellers for Zero Contagion during Travel and beyond. It believes that there are 4 key was in which social distancing can be made a success or followed. They are as follows:
- Design the space for movement
- Control the speed of flow
- Qualify what is flowing in
- Finally Distance everything in closed space tightly
SafeSpace also believes that there are few solutions from which we can manage people’s movement in public place such as:
- Sanitization Management
- Queuing and Flow Management
- Limiting Counter
- Access and Entry Management
And for this purpose i.e. social distancing SafeSplace is also providing few products which would help people for the same.
- Counter System
- Cono Wearable System
- Smart Mirror Services
- ML Omnicloud
- Corerock admin platform
- Cono User App
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PHONE NUMBER +919654677057