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Home / Technology / Researchers have identified four causes of “zoom fatigue” and simple solutions

Researchers have identified four causes of “zoom fatigue” and simple solutions


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Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people log on to popular video chat platforms to connect with colleagues, family and friends, researchers at Stanford University have warned you: these video calls may annoy you.

Professor Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of the Virtual Human Interaction Laboratory (VHIL) at Stanford University and a communications expert, has studied how many hours a day is spent on these platforms, driven by the recent boom in video conferencing. Psychological consequences. Just as “Google search”

; is similar to any web search, the term “Zooming” has become ubiquitous and is a universal verb that replaces video conferencing. Because social distancing agreements make people physically different, virtual meetings have proliferated, holding hundreds of millions of meetings every day.

In the first peer-reviewed article, Zoom fatigue is systematically deconstructed from a psychological perspective Technology, thought and behavior On February 23, Bailenson separated the media and evaluated various technical aspects of Zoom. He identified four consequences of long video chats, which he said would lead to a feeling commonly referred to as “zoom fatigue.”

Bailenson emphasized that his goal is not to destroy any specific video conferencing platform (he regularly appreciates and uses tools such as Zoom), but emphasizes how exhausted the current implementation of video conferencing technology is, and suggests interface changes. Many of them are easy to implement. In addition, he provides consumers and organizations with suggestions on how to use the current capabilities of video conferencing to reduce fatigue.

Bailenson said: “Video conferencing is a good thing for remote communication, but please think about the medium-just because you can use video doesn’t mean you have to.”

According to this research, the following are the four main causes of fatigue in video chats. Readers can also fill out a questionnaire to understand their position on the Zoom Exhaust & Fatigue Scale (ZEF) scale.

Four reasons

1) Excessive close eye contact is very strong.

The amount of eye contact we make in video chats and the size of the faces on the screen are unnatural.

In a normal meeting, people will look at the speaker in various ways, take notes or look elsewhere. But in the Zoom call, everyone has been watching everyone. The listener is treated as a speaker and treated nonverbally, so even if you don’t speak in the meeting, you won’t look at you. The number of eye contact has greatly increased. Byronson said: “The social anxiety caused by public speaking is one of the biggest phobias in our population.” “When you stand there and everyone is staring at you, it is a kind of stress.”

Another source of stress is that, depending on your monitor size and whether you use an external monitor, the face in a video conference call may appear too large to be comfortable. “Usually, for most settings, if you have a one-on-one conversation with a colleague or even a stranger on the video, you will see that their face size can simulate the personal space you usually encounter. Deal with someone.”

When someone’s face is very close to our face in real life, our brain will interpret it as a fierce condition that will lead to mating or conflict. Bailenson said: “In fact, when you use Zoom for several hours, you will be in this state of overexcitement.”

solution: Before the platform changes the interface, Bailenson recommends removing “Zoom” from the full-screen option, reducing the size of the “Zoom” window relative to the display to minimize the size of the face, and using an external keyboard to increase personal space bubbles in yourself And the grid.

2) I often see myself tired in video chats.

Most video platforms will show you a square on the camera during the chat. Byronson said, but this is unnatural. “In the real world, if someone keeps using a mirror to follow you around, so that when you talk to people, make decisions, provide feedback, and get feedback, you see yourself in the mirror, that’s crazy . Someone will consider it,” he added.

The research cited by Bailenson shows that when you see your reflection, you criticize yourself more. Many of us now see ourselves in video chats for many hours every day. “This is a burden on us. The pressure is great. Many studies have shown that looking in the mirror will have a negative emotional impact.”

solution: Bailenson recommends that the platform only change the default practice of sending videos to itself and others when it needs to send videos to others. At the same time, users should use the “Hide Self-View” button. Once they see the correct face in the video, they can access it by right-clicking on their photo.

3) Video chat greatly reduces our usual mobility.

Face-to-face calls and audio phone conversations allow people to walk around. But in video conferencing, most cameras have a fixed field of view, which means that one person must usually stay in the same place. Movement is restricted in unnatural ways. Bailenson said: “There are now more and more studies showing that when people move, their cognitive performance will be better.”

solution: Bailenson recommends that people think more about the room where the video conference will take place, the location of the camera, and whether things such as an external keyboard can help increase distance or flexibility. For example, an external camera far away from the screen will enable you to pace and doodle in a virtual meeting just like in a virtual meeting. Of course, turning off the video regularly during meetings is a good basic rule for groups, just give yourself a short nonverbal break.

4) The cognitive load in video chat is much higher.

Bailenson pointed out that in regular face-to-face interaction, non-verbal communication is very natural, and each of us naturally and consciously makes and interprets gestures and non-verbal cues. But in video chat, we must work harder to send and receive signals.

Byronson said, in fact, humans have taken one of the most natural things in the world, namely face-to-face conversation, and turned it into something involving a lot of thought: “You have to make sure that your head is framed in the center of the video Position. If you want to show someone that you agree with them, you must exaggerately nod or give a thumbs up. This will increase your cognitive burden because you are using mental calories to communicate.”

In a video conferencing environment, gestures can also mean different things. Glancing sideways at someone in a face-to-face meeting means that it is very different from someone in the video chat grid looking at the screen of a child who just walked into the home office.

solution: In a long meeting, give yourself an “audio only” break. Bailenson said: “This is not only when you turn off the camera so that you don’t have to do non-verbal activities and take a break, but you also keep your body away from the screen so that you won’t be perceived as realistic by gestures within a few minutes. But it makes no sense to society.”

Communication researchers at Stanford University have contacted many organizations, including schools, large companies, and government agencies, to better understand how to create best practices for specific video conferencing settings and how to propose institutional guidelines. Bailenson-Jeff Hancock, founding director of the Stanford Social Media Lab; Géraldine Fauville, a former postdoctoral researcher at VHIL; Mufan Luo; a graduate student at Stanford University; and Anna, a postdoctoral fellow at VHIL Queiroz (Anna Queiroz) responded by designing the “Zoom Fatigue and Fatigue Scale” or ZEF Scale to help measure the level of fatigue people experience in the workplace during video conferencing.

The scale is detailed in the latest paper published on the preprinted website SSRN and has not been peer-reviewed. The scale promotes research on how to measure fatigue and the causes of fatigue through interpersonal techniques. The scale is a 15-item questionnaire that is freely available and has been tested in five separate studies with more than 500 participants in the past year. It asks questions about a person’s general fatigue, physical fatigue, social fatigue, emotional fatigue, and motivational fatigue. Some example questions include:

How tired are you after the video conference? How troubled your eyes after the video conference? After a video conference, how much do you tend to avoid social situations? How did you feel cramped after the video conference? After the video conference, how often do you feel tired and unable to do other things?

Hancock said the results of the scale can help change technology, thereby reducing stressors.

He pointed out that humans have been here before. “When we first had an elevator, we didn’t know whether we should stare at each other in that space. Recently, ride sharing has raised questions about whether you talk to the driver or whether to back down. Seat or passenger seat.” Hancock explained. “We have to develop methods to make it suitable for us. We are in the era of video conferencing, and understanding these mechanisms will help us understand the best way to do things for different occasions, different organizations, and different types of meetings.”

“Hopefully our work will help find the root cause of this problem and help people adapt to the practice of video conferencing to reduce’zoom fatigue’,” added Fauver, now an assistant professor at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. “This may also make video conferencing platform designers challenge and rethink some established video conferencing paradigms.”

Zoom adds accessibility for video conferencing

More information:
JN Byronson (2021). Nonverbal Overload: A Theoretical Demonstration of the Causes of Zoom Fatigue. Technology, thought and behavior, 1(3). doi.org/10.1037/tmb0000030

Provided by Stanford University

Citation: Researchers have identified four causes of “zoom fatigue” and retrieved its simple repair method from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-02-fatigue-simple.html on February 24, 2021 (2021 February 23).

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