Even as more people are logging onto popular video chat platforms to connect with colleagues, family and friends during the COVID pandemic, Stanford researchers have a warning for you: Those video calls are likely tiring you out. Prompted by the recent boom in videoconferencing, communication Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab VHILexamined the psychological consequences of spending hours per day on these platforms.
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. 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.
Below are four primary reasons why video chats fatigue humans, according to the study.
Both the amount of eye contact we engage in on video chats, as well as the size of faces on screens is unnatural. In a normal meeting, people will variously be looking at the speaker, taking notes or looking elsewhere.
But on Zoom calls, everyone is looking at everyone, all the time. Solution : Until the platforms change their interface, Bailenson recommends taking Zoom out of the full-screen option and reducing the size of the Zoom window relative to the monitor to minimize face size, and to use an external keyboard to allow an increase in the personal space bubble between oneself and the grid.
Most video platforms show a square of what you look like on camera during a chat. Bailenson cited studies showing that when you see a reflection of yourself, you are more critical of yourself. Solution : Bailenson recommends that platforms change the default practice of beaming the video to both self and others, when it only needs to be sent to others.
In-person and audio phone conversations allow humans to walk around and move. But with videoconferencing, most cameras have a set field of view, meaning a person has to generally stay in the same spot.
Bailenson notes that in regular face-to-face interaction, nonverbal communication is quite natural and each of us naturally makes and interprets gestures and nonverbal cues subconsciously. But in video chats, we have to work harder to send and receive als.
The scale is a item questionnaire, which is freely available, and has been tested now across five separate studies over the past year with over participants. Save my name,and website in this browser for the next time I comment.
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