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Are You Exhausted By Zoom Meetings? An Expert Explains Why That Could Be

Lauryn Morley, a lower school substitute teacher for the Washington Waldorf School in Bethesda, Maryland, works from her home due to the Coronavirus outbreak, on April 1, 2020 in Arlington, Virginia. - Her role in the school changed significantly when Coronavirus hit. She was previously working part time to support teachers when they needed to be absent from the classroom and now she helps them to build skills with new digital platforms so they can continue to teach in the best way for their students and their families.The middle school (grades 6-8) has most regularly been using Zoom and the lower grades have been using Zoom with parents. (Photo by Olivier DOULIERY / AFP) (Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)
OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images
A teacher works from her home, working with her students through Zoom, due to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Zoom, a video conferencing software, has become wildly popular thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic. It allows you to connect with tons of people through video at the click of a link, so many companies are using it for their staff meetings throughout the day. But it can get exhausting.

Zoom, a video conferencing software, has become wildly popular thanks to the global COVID-19 pandemic. It allows you to connect with tons of people through video at the click of a link, so many companies are using it for their staff meetings throughout the day. But it can get exhausting. 

A Stanford University professor and researcher suggests that we’re experiencing “nonverbal overload.” In an opinion piece he wrote for the Wall Street Journal, he explains there are consequences from a constant gaze. Long stints of direct eye contact is typically reserved for close relationships, but it’s now happening with colleagues and acquaintances. All this isn’t to say Zoom is a bad thing. It’s allowed people to connect with others beyond work. People holed up in their homes have hosted parties, happy hours and game nights. Jeremy Bailenson with Stanford’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab suggests we simply rethink the way we conduct video conferencing.

Today on AirTalk, Bailenson joins Larry to further discuss the consequences of close up virtual interaction and some different ways to think about video conferencing. Have you felt exhausted by Zoom or other video conferencing software? Have you had to adapt your meetings? We want to hear from you. Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722. 

Guest: 

Jeremy Bailenson, professor of communication at Stanford University and founding director of the school’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, which focuses on the psychology of virtual communication and how people behave online; author of the book, "Experience on Demand: What Virtual Reality Is, How It Works, and What It Can Do" (W. W. Norton, Inc., 2018)

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