Do you Have Zoom Fatigue?


However, on Zoom, nonverbal behavior is elevated to the conscious level. Users are working much harder to send and receive communications and the gestures and body language that goes with it.

There are at least 4 stressors that contribute to Zoom Fatigue.

1) Too much close-up eye contact creates intimacy issues.

In an in-person conference room, typically focus is on one person at a time. Naturally eye contact is on whomever is presenting ideas, leading the meeting, or talking.

Unfortunatley, Zoomers are in a heightened optic environment. Staring at a screen causes users to constantly stare at all participants. According to Bailenson, this “effectively transforms listeners into speakers and smothers everyone with eye gaze.”

“On Zoom, behavior ordinarily reserved for close relationships, such as long stretches of direct eye gaze and faces seen close up…has suddenly become the way we interact with casual acquaintances, co-workers, and even strangers,” he writes. 

2) Constantly Being On-Screen in Real-Time Can Cause Exhaustion

The study concluded that “the tendency to self-focus” might cause people to experience depression. Staring at ourselves, and being constantly looked at by others, contributes to ‘Zoom Fatigue.’

3) The Ability to Zoom On-demand Reduces Mobility and at Times Represents an Invasion of Privacy

Users no longer need to leave home for work or socialization. Naturally, this limits typical mobility. With Zoom and other video call apps, the world is getting larger and smaller at the same time.  Each Zoom call is an invitation into a user’s personal space and home, allowing individuals to ‘visit’ across the nation or internationally.

4) Cognitive Load is Way Too High with Videoconferencing

Users tend to overcompensate on camera. For example “nodding in an exaggerated way for a few extra seconds,” and “looking directly into the camera (as opposed to the faces on the screen) to try and make direct eye contact when speaking.”  Reports also state users talk louder and longer while Zooming than in a typical one to one setting.