Humanity is faced with a new complex phenomenon - "Zoom-attrition"

As of today, we already know that frequent and lengthy video chats can be incredibly tiring. The BBC and the Wall Street Journal, for example, have already reported on the phenomenon of "Zoom exhaustion", which makes people feel more socially depressed than they did before the pandemic.

The phenomenon is due to the fact that earlier people used Zoom purely for meeting with clients, colleagues or teachers, in a word - in external life. Now, after a long day of school and work, video meetings with loved ones seem more tiring, and refusing to get in touch stimulates feelings of guilt due to the lack of valid reasons to refer to.

The problem is that interactive video interaction is fundamentally different from face-to-face communication. When we sit with a person face to face, we read much more information than through a narrow camera window. Thus, we have to make more efforts to understand the interlocutor and choose our own words more carefully. In addition, we lose about 85% of communication due to the lack of body language and even due to the inoperative sense of smell.

It is known that Zoom was not actually designed for active social interaction, the role of which has been transferred to it now. In an office setting, people rarely look directly into each other's eyes for long periods of time. In the video application window, we see many close-ups looking at us throughout the conference. This triggers the fight-or-flight reflex, which causes severe mental stress.

Professor Delands-White of Northern Illinois University offers several tricks to minimize fatigue from video chats. For example, instead of revealing your own face, you can use an avatar - this reduces the social burden. “Don't schedule meetings right after each other. Take a break from the screen between sessions and get some fresh air. Divide the spaces inside the home into "office" and "bedroom". You can alternate between different lighting or clothing to show yourself that a regime change is taking place. ” Or just turn off the camera during a video conference. Programs like Zoom let you control the position and size of windows with other people's faces - use that. Or you can completely abandon the computer. After all, there is always a telephone - your overtired eyes will be grateful to you.