The phantom of the video call: demystifying the enigma of ‘ghosting’

DisplayNoteBlog Oct 31, 2023

In the age of virtual meetings and remote work, a new phenomenon has emerged – ghosting in meetings. Not the eerie apparitions from horror movies, but rather the sudden and unexplained disappearance of participants during virtual gatherings.

A virtual meeting is underway, everyone is engaged in discussions, and suddenly, a participant vanishes into thin air. Their video feed goes blank, and their nameplate turns into a mere shadow on the screen. The once active contributor becomes an elusive phantom, leaving the rest of the participants in bewilderment. This is the ghosting phenomenon in the digital realm.

Why does this happen?

  1. Technical Glitches: Ghosting isn’t always intentional. Technical issues like poor internet connection, sudden power outages, or software malfunctions can abruptly whisk someone away from the meeting, leaving them scrambling to reconnect.
  2. Overlapping Commitments: The digital era has made multitasking more accessible than ever. Ghosting might occur when participants find themselves juggling multiple responsibilities, leading them to slip away from one virtual space to attend to another urgent matter.
  3. Disengagement: On the darker side, some individuals choose to ghost meetings deliberately as a form of disengagement. This could stem from dissatisfaction, disinterest, or a feeling of unproductiveness during the meeting.

Impact on Professional Relationships:

Ghosting in meetings, regardless of the reason, can have tangible consequences on professional relationships and team dynamics.

  1. Communication Breakdown: When a participant ghosts a meeting, it disrupts the flow of communication and collaboration. It can lead to misunderstandings and hinder the exchange of crucial information.
  2. Decreased Team Morale: Repeated instances of ghosting can contribute to a sense of unreliability within the team, potentially dampening team morale. Trust and camaraderie are essential in a professional setting, and ghosting can erode these qualities over time.
  3. Missed Opportunities: Ghosting may result in missed opportunities for collaboration, brainstorming, and decision-making. The absent participant might miss out on valuable insights and updates, impacting their work and the overall progress of the team.

Addressing the Ghostly Presence:

  1. Establish Clear Communication Norms: Setting clear expectations regarding attendance and active participation in meetings can help mitigate instances of ghosting. Teams should collectively decide on guidelines for attendance and communication.
  2. Encourage Open Dialogue: Foster an environment where team members feel comfortable discussing challenges and constraints that may lead to ghosting. Encourage open dialogue to address issues and find collaborative solutions.
  3. Utilize Technology Wisely: Leverage technology to minimize technical glitches that may contribute to ghosting. Regularly update software, invest in reliable internet connections, and provide tech support to team members facing issues.

Ghosting in meetings is a phenomenon that can haunt the digital workplace, but with proactive measures and a collective commitment to effective communication, teams can dispel the specter and foster a more connected and collaborative virtual environment. Remember, in the world of virtual meetings, communication is key to exorcising the ghostly presence and ensuring a productive and harmonious work atmosphere.

Learn more about DisplayNote’s Montage wireless sharing technology that can help avoid ‘ghosting’.

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