Time to Zoom out?

Time to Zoom out?

There really is such a thing as ‘Zoom fatigue’, say academics at Standford University. For many the rise of video calls has replaced classroom lectures, business meetings, conferences and even telephone calls. This all means spending more time staring into webcams.

Researchers discovered four things that can exhaust us: the need for constant eye contact; the ability to see oneself on the video calls; the need to sit still for long periods of time; and the struggle to interpret or communicate via body language.

Professor Jeremy Bailenson said: “In the real world, if someone was following you around with a mirror constantly – so that while you were talking to people, making decisions, giving feedback, you were seeing yourself in a mirror, that would be crazy. No one would ever consider that.”

His advice is to sometimes opt for an audio-only approach. Turn the camera off and move away from the screen, maybe even walk around while you are talking and listening.

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