‘Zoom Fatigue’ And Their Simple Fixes

If you’re tired of video conferences you’re not alone. Stanford University researchers have found there are four main reasons why video chats fatigue humans:

1) Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense (faces on video calls can appear too large for comfort, which simulates a personal space that you normally experience when you’re with someone intimately)

2) Seeing yourself during video chats constantly, and in real time is fatiguing (studies have found that seeing your reflection repeatedly makes you more critical of yourself)

3) Video chats dramatically reduce of usual mobility (movement is limited in an unnatural way due to the limitations of video-chatting)

4) The cognitive load is much higher in video chats (we have to work harder to send and interpret gestures and nonverbal cues).

There are ways to deal with certain issues. Certain things can be remedied by existing features on video-chat platforms, for example, using the “hide self” button to hide the view of your own face while chatting. But otherwise, researchers expect we will adapt to using video chats more comfortably, just as we once adapted social protocols for using elevators. (EurekAlert!