Zoom fatigue

“Tilman, should I set up a Zoom?” Ugh.

In just a few short months we’ve collectively gone from “Zoom is the best!” to “Please don’t make me get on Zoom one more time today.”

Zoom fatigue may not be in the books as an official syndrome yet, but it might as well be. Personally, my business is heavily reliant on face-to-face interactions, so I’ve become overly used to Zooming lately.

The BBC talked to folks who work in fields like “sustainable learning” and “workplace wellbeing” to get some insight into what’s going on with us. Turns out that we have to work a lot harder to process non-verbal cues over video chat than we do in person.

Add to that delays between sound and picture, and you can understand why the cognitive dissonance of Zoom is exhausting.

Then there’s the performative nature of video calls. When we can see ourselves on screen, we’re hyper aware of our every gesture and facial expression. And, of course, we’re all under tremendous pressure right now in the first place.

Zoom may be a necessary agent in our lives for the foreseeable future but taking breaks from it — and declining unnecessary calls — might be the key to our health and happiness.

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