Are You Looking at Me?
During normal, in-person encounters, we’re accustomed to looking at people straight in the eye when talking to them. It’s a sign of respect. Eye contact shows that a person has our attention.
Lack of eye contact, on the other hand, can make it seem like a person has something to hide. At the very least, it could make you look shy and bashful even if you don’t feel that way.
These days, many of us are using our iPhones to chat with others in FaceTime video calls while social distancing. When you look away from the iPhone’s camera during a chat, such as to glance down at something on your desk, you break the virtual “eye contact” being maintained over the Internet.
Surely, no one wants to appear like they’re trying to avoid eye contact during chats with friends, family, or coworkers. So, as the saying goes, there’s an app for that. The FaceTime app now simulates eye contact during video chats.
Apple engineers decided to include a feature in iPhones XS and later running version 14 of the iOS operating system that actually edits your video image in real time while talking on FaceTime calls, according to AppleInsider.
Think about how you interact with people during video chats. You probably look at their eyes on your iPhone’s screen, rather than staring at the little camera. So it seems you’re not quite looking at them in the eye, and people can tell that the gaze is just slightly off.
Rather than encouraging individuals to change their habit and just look at the iPhone’s camera, Apple changed how the FaceTime app works.
Creeped Out by Fake Eye Contact? Here’s How to Disable the Feature on Your iPhone
Apple leaves the Eye Contact feature active by default on all new iPhones coming from the factory. You’ll need to turn it off if you don’t want FaceTime to simulate this basic form of human connection for you.
Press the Home button and then tap the “Settings” icon on your iPhone.
Slide the toggle switch next to Eye Contact to the “Off” position.
Note: If you cannot see this option on your iPhone, it means your version of the phone or the software does not support fake Eye Contact in FaceTime. Feel free to have conversations as usual.