Have you heard the term “Zoom fatigue” yet? It’s when you’re anxious or exhausted by all the video chats you have to do. And a lot of people are feeling it.
Here are five reasons video chats are more stressful than face-to-face interactions . . .
1. Too much eye contact. We normally don’t stare straight at each other non-stop. We look away, and our eyes dart around. So that much eye contact is intimidating.
2. It requires more focus. Your brain has to work harder to process everything, like blurry facial expressions or the tone of someone’s voice before you know who’s talking.
3. There aren’t as many non-verbal cues in video chats. Normal, face-to-face talks rely on a lot of body language. And not having it puts us on edge.
4. Only one person can talk at a time. There’s no cross-talk, and having to wait your turn makes us uncomfortable. Especially because interrupting someone creates confusion, where people might not be able to hear what either of you said.
5. We’re worried about how we look. Staring at yourself makes you more self-conscious. So you might want to close the window that shows your own video.
A few more tips to make chats less stressful: Break them up, so they’re not back-to-back. Use the “Active Speaker” view, so you only see one person instead of 20. And replace some of your video chats with regular old phone calls. (USA Today / BBC)