Julia Maher ’23
Since many people are working virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, they are heavily relying on technology platforms like Zoom. Using Zoom for extended periods of time will result in something known as “Zoom fatigue.”
Zoom fatigue is the exhaustion that results from using Zoom excessively, and it often manifests itself in mental, emotional, and even physical fatigue. People experience Zoom fatigue because when they engage in conversation through a video call, they miss many nonverbal social cues that they would otherwise have in person. Since they can only see a small image of each person, they cannot interpret body language very effectively, which leads to an exhaustion of mental energy.
Additionally, when people use Zoom, they often view so many people at one time through the gallery view feature that they must use many mental resources to analyze each person’s body language. In order to minimize Zoom fatigue, people must use these following tips to remain healthy and happy.
First, it is crucial to use the active speaker feature on Zoom, instead of the gallery view feature. As mentioned previously, the gallery view requires more mental energy to analyze each person’s body language; therefore, people should use the active speaker mode so that they only have to view one person at a time. It is truly astonishing how much exhaustion can be minimized by using the active speaker mode, so it is a very important rule to employ.
Second, taking breaks between classes, meetings, or events is important for mental and emotional health. People should not expect themselves to work all day and still feel fresh and energized for everything. An easy way to implement this tip is to do a short meditation exercise between events or to take a short ten-minute walk around the neighborhood.
Third, it is vital that people get enough sleep at night. It is easy to forget to sleep for at least eight hours every night, but it is integral to mental, emotional and physical health. If people get more sleep at night, they will have more energy to sustain themselves through the hustle of everyday life. Sleep will give people the basic resources to prevent and minimize Zoom fatigue from occurring.
Finally, giving your eyes a break every twenty minutes by looking at an object for twenty seconds that is twenty feet away can help prevent eye strain and fatigue. People are looking at screens all day right now, which is not healthy for their eyes; therefore, by preventing eye strain, Zoom fatigue can also be minimized.