in-person relationships. In recent years there have been many studies which have debunked these myths. Consider the work around mirror neurons which posits that, just like a mirror, we are influenced by those around us. The notion of mirror neurons indicates that our brain will “fire” in ways that are similar to those we are in dialogue around. My brain will mimic the things that I am surrounded with. So, if everyone is up, I’ll be up. If everyone is low, I’ll be low. With this in mind, what is the environment you want to create for your groups?
For those who have wondered if people can’t build as strong relationships in the virtual space, a 2013 study found that bonding does happen and can “reach levels present in face-to-face communication,” even if it takes longer.
Third, consider how you create digital conditions similar to in-person gestures. A 2014 Harvard
study found that “handshaking promotes cooperative deal-making.” High fives are an important part of signaling encouragement. Consider how heart and celebration emojis have been used on Zoom calls you have been part of, as well as gestures like “love bombs” or “two thumbs up.”
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