Ever since the isolation of COVID-19 began we have been experimenting with zoom technology that now has become routine. At Lakeside our schools, counseling programs and training programs have all been through huge transitions to a zoom format. It has been different, sometimes difficult and a huge change to how we do things in education, counseling and training. But what is common is that zoom fatigue seems to be a real thing for so many of us.
On the Mindful website, Dr. Steve Hickman, Executive Director of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion wrote an article about how to manage the realities of zoom fatigue.
Here are some quotes from the article:
There is a different quality to our attention when we are online. We are hyper-focused on the few available visual cues that we normally gather from a full range of available body language. Or perhaps, we are totally distracted and checking email while we are supposed to be conversing or listening intently to a colleague’s detailed presentation. If we are with several people online at the same time, we are simultaneously processing visual cues from all of those people (and perhaps a handful of their pets and children too!) in a way we never have to do around a conference table. It is a stimulus-rich environment, but just like rich desserts, sometimes too rich is just too much.
And when we start to be over-stimulated by extraneous data that we haven’t had to process in the physical world, each new data point pushes us just a little bit farther away from the human-to-human connection that we all crave and appreciate. Italian management professor Gianpiero Petriglieri recently tweeted “It’s easier being in each other’s presence, or in each other’s absence, than in the constant presence of each other’s absence.” So beautifully and eloquently perceptive!
Dr. Hickman proceeds in this article to give us six ways to find balance while staying connected to those we are online with, whether personally or in business meetings. Personally I have had times where I had one zoom meeting after the next and the exhaustion was intense. On the one hand we feel totally consumed and on the other we feel like we have achieved very little. Yet the exhaustion can be overwhelming.
As you continue to have online meetings, trainings and other forms of communication, feel free to bring some balance. It is truly a blessing to have this technology but like anything in life that brings convenience it can become unbalanced and even harmful to our sense of well-being.
It is important that we continue to raise awareness to this kind of impact to our brain as we embrace a more significant level of online use. Zoom fatigue is real and in order to stay healthy we need to manage it, balance it and then enjoy it.