During these times of quarantine, people spend much more time on video calls than ever before and most of them find it really exhausting. But what exactly tiring us out while using Zoom? Let’s try to find out.

Video chats require much more focus than face-to-face communication. We need to concentrate harder in order to process non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions, tone of voice, and body language. The cognitive dissonance that causes conflicting feelings consumes a lot of energy. It feels exhausting because you cannot relax into the conversation naturally.

As you might experience, silence doesn’t create a natural rhythm like in a real-life conversation so it makes you feel anxious about technology. Moreover, you may feel uncomfortable because you are very aware of being watched. Being on camera can make you feel like you need to perform and cause social pressure. It’s quite nerve-wracking to be performative, isn’t it? Therefore, video chats come with extra stressors.

What’s more, in current circumstances, video calls can be a reminder of what we have lost due to the quarantine and lockdown. It can be a kind of distress when you see your colleagues online because this reminds you that you should really be at the office together. The disruption of these familiar contexts is a challenging experience.

In addition, the fact that different aspects of our lives, such as work, family, and friends—which used to be separated—are happening in the same space now. So you can’t go to the bar to meet friends or to the university to talk to a professor; you need to do it all in the same place and there’s no escape. The context of our activities has collapsed, as our social roles don’t happen in different places anymore. According to some psychological theories, when some of our context-dependent social roles are reduced, people become more vulnerable to negative feelings. Being confined in our own space is very anxiety-provoking.

national geographic zoom fatigue

According to the same studies, a lack of downtime after we’ve handled work and family commitments can also be a factor of fatigue. Even Zooming friends isn’t that relaxing because video chats may feel depersonalizing. Sometimes, video chats don’t feel like a leisure time because your power as an individual is somehow diminished.

Zoom fatigue really does exist. Is this possible to alleviate it? For sure, yes. To reduce Zoom exhaustion, try to limit video calls to only those that are necessary. Promote the understanding that cameras shouldn’t always be on throughout each meeting, make turning on the camera optional for every team member.

You could also take time during calls to catch up with colleagues before diving into the business. Reduce concern and reconnect with other people through checking their well-being. Also, set transition periods in between video meetings to refresh yourself. You could try stretching or doing a bit of exercise because moving between work makes it less tiring.psychotherapists

The coronavirus pandemic has made a huge impact on universities and colleges. All the institutions had to transform in-person classes to an online format. The pandemic caused changes in every aspect of the higher education system, starting from admissions to university sport events.

The universities had to close their campuses and altered their plans concerning the next academic semester. Nearly 60% of colleges are planning for in-person education with social distancing. Some of them are Arizona State University, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Alabama. Some universities are going to adopt a hybrid model. It means that they will mix in-person and online studying. And roughly 9% of institutions will operate online-only in the next semester.

Also, the higher education system faces problems with the quality of online instruction. Some studies show that the academic performance of students suffers significantly in online courses. So institutions need to make additional effort to organize the studying process remotely. Online learning means that there is a high risk of a dramatic drop in academic achievements. And that is why some universities even decided to change the grading system. Instead of standard grades students will get only pass or fail marks.

Obviously, universities have faced some financial challenges. Because of the coronavirus outbreak, colleges have a lot of unexpected expenses. For example, they need to spend money on refunds to students that don’t live on campuses anymore. Moreover, institutions have increased costs related to technology as they switched to online courses. Another reason for financial losses is that most study abroad programs were closed. In addition, the number of international students has significantly decreased. Most foreign students can’t come back to the USA to finish their studies. The biggest problem is that nobody knows how long this situation will last. The US higher education system is experiencing an economic downturn.

Unfortunately, the application process has also become much more difficult. Most universities have made some changes to the admission requirements and the process has become more complicated. Another problem is that the general number of applications is going down as a lot of students are no longer able to afford tuition fees due to financial issues.

As the current situation in the higher education system is very problematic, some prompt actions must be taken to resolve existing problems. Due to the fact that coronavirus spreads extremely quickly, institutions are taking measures to prevent the spread of the disease. They instruct students concerning hygiene protocols, self-isolation, and some other safety rules. They also do their best to maximize online learning and make it effective. The higher education system needs to adjust its programs to remote learning and keep access to education for all students.

So the COVID-19 pandemic has numerous effects on different aspects of the higher education system. It made institutions absolutely reimagine the learning experience. But still creating a new model of learning that is based on technologies can be beneficial for higher education.

Svitlana Drach

Svitlana Drach

Psychology4u.net team member

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