A new phenomenon is popping up as we continue to social distance: “Zoom fatigue.”

According to USA Today, Zoom fatigue is an increase in anxiousness or becoming exhausted due to too many video chats. Basically, we’re not wired for them, which makes them more stressful.

Here is why the experts say that is:

  1. Too much eye contact.  We normally don’t stare straight at each other non-stop.  We look away, and our eyes dart around.  So that much eye contact is intimidating.
  2. It requires more focus.  Your brain has to work harder to process everything, like blurry facial expressions or the tone of someone’s voice before you know who’s talking.
  3. There aren’t as many non-verbal cues in video chats.  Normal, face-to-face talks rely on a lot of body language.  And not having it puts us on edge.
  4. Only one person can talk at a time.  There’s no cross-talk, and having to wait your turn makes us uncomfortable.  Especially because interrupting someone creates confusion, where people might not be able to hear what either of you said.
  5. We’re worried about how we look.  Staring at yourself makes you more self-conscious.  So you might want to close the window that shows your own video.

Experts are saying that it might help if you break them up, so they’re not back-to-back if possible. Also, it is recommended to use the “active speaker” view, so you only see one person instead of 20. Also, they recommend just picking up the phone and making a regular old phone call.