Today’s Solutions: October 03, 2022

If you’re anything like us at the Optimist Daily, you’re probably feeling exhausted by virtual meetings. We spoke about it amongst ourselves while on Zoom and decided to look around to see if others were feeling the same. Apparently, we’re not alone.

In an article for National Geographic, Julia Sklar explains how mentally draining it can be to do virtual meetings all day—something she calls “zoom fatigue.” She explains that this “Brady Bunch-style” screen option challenges the central vision of the brain, “forcing it to decode so many people at once that no one comes through meaningfully, not even the speaker.” She also notes that group video chats run the risk of becoming less collaborative, because only one “conversation” can take place effectively at a time, and we are unable to recognize the behavior of other participants, something she notes we would perceive through peripheral vision during a live meeting.  

She explains that for some zoom participants, “the prolonged split in attention creates a perplexing sense of being drained while having accomplished nothing. The brain becomes overwhelmed by unfamiliar excess stimuli while being hyper-focused on searching for non-verbal cues that it can’t find.”

So, how can we fight back against zoom fatigue?

One way is to realize that we’re simply overusing virtual meetings. Having fewer meetings of shorter duration can make video conferencing more valuable, capitalizing on the ease of transmitting important information, streamlined and succinct.  And for companies with multiple divisions, the additional business can be conducted in break out rooms.  Fewer people means less pressure, which might make people feel more comfortable and able to speak freely. Smaller virtual groups are often more cohesive, resulting in increased rapport.

In your own personal life, it might be wise for your well-being to be a bit more selective with whom you do virtual calls and for how long you speak. And if you really need to talk, the good old telephone still works so you don’t have to fixate on a screen.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Psychiatrists in Brussels trial free museum visits to treat anxiety and stress

In Brussels, those who are struggling with mental health issues such as stress, depression, or anxiety will be offered an unorthodox and innovative treatment: ...

Read More

Follow these 5 steps to develop real empathy

Empathy does not mean you understand someone’s experience because you have been there, too. You can never really know what someone is going through ...

Read More

Iceland recommends this natural remedy to help with social isolation

Given that humans are by nature social animals, in a time when close contact and embracing are discouraged to slow the spread of the ...

Read More

Craving a bedtime snack? These 9 foods promote deeper sleep

Warm milk is a class pre-bedtime sleep aid, but it turns out there are lots of sleep-inducing foods to choose from for a late-night ...

Read More