Image, Appearance and Vanity in the Use of Media Spaces and Videoconference Systems

Media spaces and videoconference systems are beneficial for

connecting separated co-workers and providing rich contextual

information. However, image sharing communication tools may

also touch on sensitive spots of the human psyche related to

personal, perceived image issues (e.g., appearance, self-image,

self-presentation and vanity). We conducted two user studies to

examine the impact of self-image concerns on the use of media

spaces and videoconference systems. Our results suggest that

personal, perceived image concerns have a considerable impact on

the comfort level of users and may hinder effective

communication [8]. We also found that image filtering techniques

can help users feel more comfortable. Our results revealed that

distortion filters, which are frequently cited to help preserve

privacy, do not tend to be the ones preferred by users. Instead,

users seemed to favor filters that make subtle changes to their

appearance, or, in some instances, they preferred to use a

surrogate instead.

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In  International ACM conference on Supporting group work (Group 2009)

Publisher  Association for Computing Machinery, Inc.
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