True: video calls exhaust our brain
It's no secret that technology has changed the way we work. With video calls, we can now communicate with colleagues and clients from anywhere in the world. While this seems like a great innovation, it turns out that video meetings are more exhausting for our brains than traditional phone calls. A study by Stanford University found the four reasons why we experience video call burnout:
Heavy tension due to long-lasting eye contact
During a video call, we see other participants unnaturally: too much close-up and long eye contact from several screens at once. We don't talk like that in real life. Therefore, during and after a video conference our brain experiences extreme pressure, which leads to fatigue and burnout.
Constantly watching yourself in real-time is exhausting
It's 2022 and yet, we are still deeply uncomfortable with being seen. We're so worried about how we look and sound that we spend most of the time during video calls watching ourselves - and it's exhausting. Moreover, we've got so preoccupied with our own image that can no longer focus on the conversation at hand. Seeing yourself during Zoom calls is not only tiring but also makes you more critical of yourself. Such self-monitoring only increases the video conference burnout level.
Video calls significantly limit our usual mobility
Have you noticed that you're less active during video meetings? No wonder, since video conferencing greatly reduces our mobility. During a regular audio call, we can move around the apartment, walk down the street or do several things at once. When the camera is on, there is no such freedom. During a video meeting, we tend to stay in one place because we're focused on the video call, forced to constantly look at the camera and not at anything else around us.
During group video calls the cognitive load significantly increases
Cognitive load is the amount of mental effort used at any given time. The study shows that we use more brain resources during an online conference than during a face-to-face conversation. Why so? Our brains have to work harder to transmit and interpret body language and verbal cues. And when someone new joins the call, the load doubles.
What's more, when we talk through a screen, gestures and nonverbal cues can be interpreted wrong. And trying to get them right only makes our minds waste more calories and time.
Impact of Zoom Fatigue: Introverts | Extroverts
In 2021, the Wall Street Journal told its readers about the difference in the perception of Zoom exhaustion between introverts and extroverts. The article cited the opinions of scientists from prominent universities, highlighting the major hardships these two personality types experience during Zoom meetings. Let's quickly analyze them and figure out how to help yourself if you're an introvert or an extrovert struggling with Zoom fatigue symptoms.
What's your personality type?
Now when you're aware of the challenges our brains face when having too many video calls, it's time to figure out how this correlates with your personality type.
Understanding how you interact with the world can help you better manage your stress and anxiety levels and increase your happiness. It's pretty easy to understand who you are. Just answer this simple question: what would you choose, spending time alone in nature or throwing a big party with friends? If you choose the first option, you're probably an introvert. If the second, you're an extrovert.
Do introverts struggle more?
Okay, you know your personality type. But does that really mean that one type suffers from video chats more than the other?
The Wall Street Journal suggests that these two types should not be compared, as each has its own difficulties with online communication.
Introverts: keep it structured
Introverts are recharging when they're alone, while extroverts gain energy from other people's presence. When an introvert has to participate in a video conference, they are expending energy. For many introverts, videoconferencing is fatiguing, and they prefer to communicate in other ways.
What are the major problems introverts experience when communicating online?
1) Insecurity about themselves, their appearance, and how and what they say. This often leads to constant self-monitoring and criticism.
2) The necessity to speak in front of a large group of people.
3) Being in the center of attention when several people maintain eye contact for a long time.
4) Pauses during conversations. It is not clear whether the person has already finished speaking or the internet connection is glitchy.
5) External distractions that interfere with concentration and also seem to make the speaker look unfavorable to introverts (shouting children or an annoying neighbor).
So how to handle video call fatigue when you're an introvert?
1) Establish a routine for your meetings. If possible, try to schedule them at the same time every day. This will help your body get into a rhythm and make this activity less daunting.
2) Take a break before a meeting. If you know that you have a video conference coming up, take a few minutes to mentally prepare yourself for a call.
3) Take breaks during video chats. If you need a pause, let other participants know so they don't think you're cutting out on them! Pausing for a few minutes will help you recharge.
4) Use headphones to create a personal space and at the same time minimize distractions.
5) Stick to short calls when possible. Longer calls can be more taxing, so try to keep them brief. The ideal time is between 20 and 50 minutes.
6) Drink water. Dehydration can cause a feeling of fatigue, so make sure to drink a glass or two before a conference starts.
Extroverts: need more emotions
It may seem that extroverts struggle less with video meeting fatigue. After all, in a time of the global pandemic and the social restrictions it has imposed on humanity, video communication has become almost the only way to keep in touch with family, friends, and colleagues, which is so important for extroverts. A. Franklin, an assistant professor of cyberpsychology at Virginia’s Norfolk State University proves the fact that emotions, active gesticulation, and other non-verbal cues that are an integral part of a real-world conversation are extremely crucial to extroverts. And that's exactly what is missing in an online conversation.
Why else is online communication less rewarding to extroverts?
1) Extroverts are often irritated by certain features of video calling apps that give more control over the conversation. For example, the mute function. That's not natural for real life.
2) Extroverts, just like introverts, feel drained after a few hours of video conferences. This usually happens when they have to just sit and passively listen and not communicate with others.
So how to handle video call fatigue when you're an extrovert?
1) Find your perfect balance. As an extrovert, who tends to thrive on social interaction, talking on video can be a great way to stay connected with the world. However, too much of a good thing can quickly lead to fatigue. Hence, stick to the golden rule: 20-50 minutes for a video call.
2) To have a more positive videoconferencing experience, try to "immerse yourself in the call." To do this, use widescreen displays, increase the sound volume, and arrange some collaborative activities. Try to make an online call as close to a real conversation as possible.
3) As extroverts tend to energize from interacting with larger audiences, try to host and join meetings with 100+ participants. Set vibrant virtual backgrounds, apply various masks and filters, and do anything to make a call more fun.
Whoosh: fatigue-free video meetings
Whoosh is the antidote to video call fatigue. Our app makes it easy for introverts and extroverts to have the energy for their next meeting. We help people fight video meeting fatigue by providing an interruption-free experience thanks to AI-driven features that make it easy to feel comfortable, stay focused, and take breaks whenever you want.
- Smart scheduling assistant to help you find the best time for a video conference
- Waiting rooms to mentally prepare for a meeting
- Live chat to let others know you're going to take a break
- Background noise canceling and mute feature to get rid of annoying distractions
- AI-powered touch-up tools and photorealistic avatars to always look your best
- Audio splitting to divide into smaller groups for a private chat
- High-end security and host control to get rid of unwanted guests
- Full-HD video quality and superb sound to help you immerse in conversation
- An extensive library of 3D backgrounds, touch-up tools, and fantastic AR filters to get the best possible experience
- Gesture and emotion recognition to gain valuable insights
- Unlimited calls whenever and wherever you need with up to 500 participants to share your energy with others
No matter what your personality type is, with Whoosh you can finally get rid of video call fatigue. Our app features a dynamic environment that responds to your energy level and is designed to make online meetings comfortable and productive for everyone. Try Whoosh today and finally take control of your video calls.