ALONG WITH PAM O'BRIEN, I got sucked into a day of inspirational ideas during the annual CESI Conference in Ireland. And I have a confession--I wasn't watching the Zoom Screen all the time. Instead, I rested my eyes on our Axolotls while listening to conference presentations.
This is an important skill--toggling between screens--because knowing how to do this staves off Zoom Fatigue. It's an important concept flagged by Dermot Casey in his LinkedIn feed.
Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL), examined the psychological consequences of spending hours per day on these platforms. Just as “Googling” is something akin to any web search, the term “Zooming” has become ubiquitous and a generic verb to replace videoconferencing. Virtual meetings have skyrocketed, with hundreds of millions happening daily, as social distancing protocols have kept people apart physically.
In the first peer-reviewed article that systematically deconstructs Zoom fatigue from a psychological perspective, published in the journal Technology, Mind and Behavior on Feb. 23, Bailenson has taken the medium apart and assessed Zoom on its individual technical aspects. He has identified four consequences of prolonged video chats that he says contribute to the feeling commonly known as “Zoom fatigue.”
Bailenson stressed that his goal is not to vilify any particular videoconferencing platform – he appreciates and uses tools like Zoom regularly – but to highlight how current implementations of videoconferencing technologies are exhausting and to suggest interface changes, many of which are simple to implement. Moreover, he provides suggestions for consumers and organizations on how to leverage the current features on videoconferences to decrease fatigue.
I recommend you take four minutes to read Vignesh Ramachadran's Stanford News item. The data reinforces the fact that I experience more cognitive load while on screen when compared to time I would normally spend in the classroom. If you don't have time to read the cautionary note about on-screen fatigue, just do what I do and watch Axolotls bump into glass walls and rocks.