By Veronica Oquendo
Covid-19 has made it risky to meet in-person for education, for fear of spread of the infection. Thankfully, there was a solution to this, the virtual classroom. Educators have been using different virtual platforms (Google meets, Blue Jeans, Skype) to meet with students, but none as popular as Zoom. Unfortunately, along with the virtual classroom come its negative consequences. Zoom fatigue is a new psychological phenomenon that is the tiredness, burnout, and worry from too much time on virtual platforms. This defined the exhaustion millions of students have been experiencing spending many hours a day sitting behind a screen, in front of a camera, attempting to learn. This leaves many wondering, how can this be? There are many reasons causing zoom fatigue including:
The audio delays that come from the internet connection are interpreted as a negative reaction, therefore causing distrust between the individuals in the zoom conference.
Deviation of Social Norms
Virtual meetings have made abiding by our social norms difficult, and many times we send negative messages to each other, which in turn deplete our cognitive energy. Two examples are interruption and lack of privacy of personal space. Interruption is when one person speaks when another person is not done speaking, thereby stopping the other person from finishing their complete thought. The lack of privacy of personal space is from having a streamed video of someone’s personal space, which includes seeing their private home and sometimes seeing and hearing the other people they live with.
Lack of Direct Eye Contact
There is much evidence saying that a mutual connection with others is helped by direct eye contact. This is also another example of deviation from a social norm, which stated previously depletes cognitive energy. Lastly, there is a cost-reward system in the brain that is engaged when there is eye contact.
Zoom requires you to sit for long extended periods of time. Physical activity is linked to less fatigue.
If you or someone you know is struggling with zoom fatigue, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/.