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Perspective: Zoom Fatigue -- It's A Thing

Allie Smith

They say that too much screen time is bad for your emotional health. Well, almost overnight, the average amount of screen time for everyone went up dramatically when the country went on a face-to-face lockdown and dropped into a virtual reality world. Interruptions in social activities and fear of the unknown also affect emotional health. Hours of intense screen time in ergonomically incorrect chairs and less time being active affect physical health. Business and social events demand screen time and “Zoom Fatigue” happens for introverts and extroverts alike – anyone can be worn down by “high intensity virtual connection.”

Some ideas for limiting Zoom Fatigue include using your phone for some meetings. You can move around more and give your overworked eyes a break.

Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings and take breaks from the screen between meetings –- hydrate, do jumping jacks, just recharge.

Take meeting notes with pen-and-paper – you’ll remember more when you write by hand.

Make sure that your “home office” feels different from your “living area,” even if it’s the same space, and all you can do is close your screen and switch off your desk lamp. A boundary between work and play is important.

While no one knows how much longer we’ll be “living remote,” keeping spatial distance from folks with whom we’re emotionally close, or if masks will become as ubiquitous as water bottles and smartphones, we do know that attending to personal wellness is essential today and going forward. The world is shaping its new normal and we need to embrace the behaviors that will allow us to be as good a resource for others as they are for us.

I’m Suzanne Degges-White and that’s my perspective.

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