Video calls tire you for these 4 reasons – but there is a solution | Behavior

The COVID-19 pandemic has completed a year and has drastically changed the routine of many people. During isolation, the videoconferencing became more frequent, leading us to a real overdose of communication at a distance – and you are not alone if you feel tired of this type of interaction.

A recent study at Stanford University revealed four reasons that lead to this fatigue caused by apps like Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams, and also showed how to reduce exhaustion in everyday life. Follow the lines below.

Video calls tend to be exhausting (Image: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels)

1. Excessive close eye contact

According to the researchers, the amount of eye contact and the size of the faces on the screens are not natural. While in a normal meeting it is common to look around and even be distracted by any situation, in apps like Zoom the pressure of everyone looking at everyone at the same time is much greater.

Things can be even worse for introverts, as even as listeners, conversation participants receive much more attention than in face-to-face situations.

“The social anxiety of speaking in public is one of the biggest phobias that exists in our population. When you’re standing there and everyone is looking at you, it’s a stressful experience, ”explains Professor Jeremy Bailenson, director and founder of the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab (VHIL).

End-to-end encryption meeting [Imagem: Blog Zoom/Divulgação]

Video call at Zoom Meetings (Image: Press Release / Zoom)

Who uses a large monitor and very close to their own face, for example, can see the faces of their colleagues even bigger, which causes discomfort. This is because, in real life, when faces are so close, our brain interprets it as an intense situation – of mating or conflict.To solve this problem, it is recommended not to use the full screen video call app and reduce the window size. Choosing an external keyboard when using the notebook can also help, as it allows you to further distance yourself from the face grid during an online meeting.

2. Looking at yourself constantly is tiring

Another evil of video call apps is that they usually display a square with your face, which is also unnatural. It is as if you are constantly looking in a mirror – which obviously ends up diverting your attention a little and making the situation more stressful, since you can judge your expressions while speaking or listening to the conversation.

This type of scenario makes us more self-critical – not only in relation to our actions, but also in terms of our appearance, which can aggravate some psychological disorders. “It is tiring for us. It is stressful. And a lot of research shows that there are negative emotional consequences to seeing yourself in the mirror, ”says Bailenson. As a solution, try to hide your view of yourself during the call.

Two people chatting on the Zoom app

People chatting at Zoom Meetings (Image: Playback / Zoom)

3. Lack of mobility

The limited field of view during video calls is another factor that contributes to exhaustion after long periods of video calls. The need to always be in the same place to appear on camera can impair cognition, according to the Stanford professor.

To avoid this problem, you can try using external devices that allow a more flexible arrangement, to gain a little more space in the shoot.

4. Video calls require greater cognitive load

Finally, research reveals that the cognitive load required during video calls is much more intense, since the framework and the virtual environment do not always deliver all the bodily signals that we would be able to pass in a face-to-face meeting.

“You need to make sure that your head is framed in the center of the video. If you want to show someone that you agree with that person, nod your head excessively or raise your thumb. This adds cognitive load, as you are using mental calories to communicate, ”explains Bailenson.

Turning the video off now and then tends to be a good strategy to take that breath. During this time, you can also move away from the screen a bit and focus on the audio of the meeting only.

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