Why Zoom Calls Drain Us

Why Zoom Calls Drain Us
  • Video calls require more focus than face-to-face chatting. We have to pay more attention to process the non-verbal cues like tone, pitch, body language and facial expressions. There is also a feeling of dissonance when the minds are together but the bodies are physically apart.
  • One finds it harder to relax in a conversation, as even a slight delay (silence) makes us feel that the other person is not friendly or focused enough. 

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Video Calling is being used for studying, dating, talking to your parents and for work purposes, leading to a new kind of exhaustion of doing everything from your laptop or smartphone screen. Add to this our being confined in a tiny space (like a room) most of the time.

If video calling and catching up with friends was a relaxing activity, where you can just be yourself, you would not feel fatigued. 

What we have here is an added pressure to perform virtually among so many other participants, each vying for attention and validation.

  • Try to limit video calls to those which are necessary.
  • Turning on the camera should be optional, and not mandatory.
  • Put the screen on the side, giving an illusion of being in an adjoining room.
  • Share important information via email and file attachments, making video calls shorter.
  • Make sure you stretch, do some exercise and keep yourself hydrated.

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  • Video chats with multiple participants have a lot of cross-talk and people talking at the same time. This problem is compounded by dodgy internet speeds.

  • It is possible to listen to only one person at a time, so one has to learn the art of the pause. Stopping and staying silent will allow others to calm down.

  • Zoom also has a raise hand feature, which helps facilitate the meeting in an orderly fashion.

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IDEAS

Once people learn to navigate the mental overload video chatting can cause, Zoom fatigue can be reduced.

  • If you're feeling over-stimulated, turn off your camera. Save your energy for when you want to perceive the few non-verbal cues available.
  • If the meeting can be done by phone, try walking at the same time.

The lack of natural communication and face-to-face interaction along with making most of the decisions in isolation has resulted in us being less empathetic or compassionate.

We need to identify small positives in the sea of problems around us and find meaning in life through unpleasant experiences. Example: Losing a job also means more time with family and loved ones.

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