Network Traffic vs Mic being Muted or Unmuted

Forgive me if I am missing a topic on this but I just set up a PiCroft instance today to see if I could get it to work with my home assistant setup. My main goal was to get a voice activated solution to control my home automation systems and after reading for sometime, MyCroft/PiCroft seemed to be a better solution than Alexa/Google Home regarding privacy.

I still cannot get the Home Assistant skill to work. It says it’s installed, but MyCroft doesn’t respond to the commands. While troubleshooting this I’ve found other things I’d rather figure out and understand for now.

What I have noticed is that if the Mic is unmuted, the PiCroft device I setup is actively transitioning the network and going out to the internet. When the mic is muted, that traffic stops. I haven’t done any packet captures but at first glance it appears that this is constantly sending what the microphone picks up beyond my network.

I understand that it would need to be able to reach the internet for requests that require API things like weather, news, etc… But why does Muting / Unmuting the microphone make a significant difference on the amount of traffic produced over the internet?

If I missed a topic about this, a simple link would be appreciated.