We’re making 30 TIMES more video calls than we did in the “before times.” And whether you’re making virtual calls for work, school, or to catch up with friends, here’s what each Zoom call is doing to your brain… according to Dr. Jeremy Bailenson, a communications professor at Stanford University:
First, whether you realize it or not, Zoom triggers your “fight or flight” response. Because, from your brain’s point of view, all those faces gazing at you FEELS confrontational! Dr. Bailenson says it’s the opposite of what happens in an elevator, when we tend to avoid eye contact with other people.
And it’s even more stressful if one of the faces onscreen is YOUR OWN. Because that switches your brain into “self-evaluation” mode, where you’re more likely to focus on finding imperfections than participating in the conversation!
Plus, Zoom literally confines us to a box onscreen. And, as far as our thinking goes, Dr. Bailenson says one consequence is Zoom shuts down our creativity. Because Zoom makes our brain feel restricted and trapped!
Add it all up, and Dr. Bailenson says these are just some of the reasons many people report feeling “Zoom fatigue.” And it’s why he recommends – at a minimum – turning OFF your device’s camera whenever possible, and making more conference calls from your cellphone while walking outside!