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The Impact Of Zoom Fatigue & Digital Eye Strain

Don't let video call meetings kill your energy!

Image by Pratiksha Mohanty - Unsplash
Image by Pratiksha Mohanty - Unsplash

Currently, it is reported that approximately 2.6 billion, one-third of the population of the world is locked or quarantined in some way. Quarantine is the world’s biggest and brutal psychological experiment, and we all are going to pay the price of lockdown in the form of significant health disparities.

According to the World Economic Forum, the end of 2020 will lead us to a secondary epidemic of psychological burnouts, poor emotional wellbeing, stress, and eye strain.

Many of us are stuck in homes only with a laptop and mobile screen; thus, we are linked to our social communities and are involved in our professional and educational obligations. We are spending more time in front of digital screens— and probably with the ergonomically incorrect physical environment — than we will ever spend in our whole life.

Our whole life now a day is orbiting around the Zoom. Teachers, trainers, students, employers, employees, and all, everyone is abducted by video call tools like Zoom.

Yes, its pandemic time, and it is safer to stay at home. But be very careful about the negative consequences of this social isolation, which in turn is ruining our mental wellbeing badly.

As we are intensively using videocalling now a day, it is, therefore, necessary to educate ourselves about its pros and cons!

Intensive sitting on Zoom meetings in front of a screen or laptop and phone screens can result in pain in the eyes, exhaustion, blurry vision, fatigue, headache, dry eyes, and other neurological problems and eyestrain. 

Zoom fatigue is real!
Fatigue is inevitable.
But overwhelmingly high

fatigue is not acceptable.

Here are few exhaustions and consequences of Zoom fatigue that the world is suffering right now;

  1. Psychological Fatigue and Physical Strain

Extensive access to digital screens can lead to physical damage across the long term. Backache and migraine complaints are widespread among people who are sitting on video call meetings or laptops for a long time.

Late-night sessions with our digital devices are cutting our standard sleep hours. Long-term sitting in front of digital screens inducing sleepiness, focus discomfort, and immune system depression.

Anyone who spends hours on a screen doesn’t get any exercise, and computer dependency can lead to poor physical and mental condition and even hypertension.

  1. Sedentary Behaviour

Extensive video calling is leading to increased physical inactivity most of the day. More intensive use of such video call meetings is encouraging a sedentary lifestyle, proven to have adverse health effects, for example, high blood pressure, obesity, cardiovascular complications, and diabetes.

  1. Zoom fatigue is Resulting in Eye Strain

Sources of virtual connections in this social distancing period, such as mobile devices, tablets, and laptops, are bounding the people for a long time to bed with screens only. That is resulting in severe eye strain.

Obscured sight and blurry vision are critical consequences of digital eye strain.

Other parts of the body, including the ears, neck, or shoulders, are also being affected by eye strain.

Significant screen timings, glaring screen, high brightness, poor sitting postures, and viewing too near or too distant are the core reasons behind the problem.

  1. Sleeplessness

Sleeplessness issues are triggering by using the laptop or other digital devices too close to bedtime. This phenomenon has to do with the reality that blue light activates the brain, such as the brightness from mobile phones, electronic devices, and laptops. To prevent the effect of bright light, to achieve the sleep balance, you can quit overuse of the digital devices, but this can be challenging in this digital world.

Problems are arising, and they will keep occurring, but the good news is that they come with solutions. Yup, at times it’s hard to find the answer, but it is never impossible.

I hope that medical professionals will find a cure for COVID-19, and we can move around again to continue with our social life. But till then we have to go with all the possible precautions to maintain a balanced life. Below are some highly recommended recommendations to overcome the Zoom fatigue.

9 Highly Effective Ways to Manage Zoom Fatigue

Here is what you should try to keep your life balanced in this time of the pandemic, as life is different now and you are interacting and engaging with each other only through devices:

  1. Obey the Digital viewing law 20-20-20

The American Optometric Association recommends that always use 20-20-20 whenever to use any type of a digital display or screen for lengthy periods. To use the law says to take 20 seconds to look at something at least 20 feet away after every 20 minutes of the screening time.

By taking periodic pauses and regular breaks from the screen, the chances of eye strain can be minimized. Because this can help relieve the pressure on the eyes because of the continuous screen staring.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Mindful breathing is all you can do now a day mindfully to achieve the desired peace.

Take a few minutes before clicking “Start the meeting” to calm down and unlock your mindfulness.

Take a deep breath, feel yourself in the physical surrounding, think of something good in your mind, and encourage yourself to enter the moment.

If you feel distressed or worried, try out taking a loving and soothing moment. Put your hand on your heart to say, “Hey dear self; I am here for you.” It’s okay to feel like you are feeling right now.

  1. Do Not Underestimate the Power of Family Time

Be very kind towards and mindful of your family. Give every family member the best of your time, and you will be inspiring your inner self. Allow yourself the chance to feel like being in the company of someone else. 

Nothing is more beautiful than sensing a sense of belongingness with your family. Let yourself feel happy family moments. Smile, live, laugh, and practice as much kindness as you can.

  1. Let Your Mind Free to Stroll

Do not bound your thoughts to the work only; instead, allow your mind to wander.

As in the words of Dr. Marsha M. Linehan, an American psychologist of Behavioral Research and Therapy Clinics, “Your mind and brain are natural wanderers – much like a crawling toddler or a puppy.”

Wandering is a good thing. To have an active, busy brain is indeed an advantage.

  1. Activate Speaker Mode

It is a struggle to monitor a large number of faces on the computer screen. But fortunately, in Zoom, you can activate “Speaker View or Gallery Display,” and to lessen the exhaustion and to make it more convenient to use while talking, it is highly recommended to prefer the Speaker view. It is more like standing around a meeting table that we all know, but we focus on whom we are talking to.

  1. Try Podcasting

Audio is a powerful tool that can help you keep in touch with your team members/ co-workers. More importantly, podcasting can help engage more people at the same time. Video calls are great, and you’ll be making a lot of them in the upcoming weeks, but know that podcasting can help you reach everyone efficiently. Research has shown that listeners are really engaged with audio, allowing them to get to know and trust the podcast host. 

  1. Keep Things Simple Stupid

You must confess that several times you are a multi-tasker at Zoom and that you read and reply to many e-mails while sitting on a meeting panel. 

It must be stopped immediately. Stop multitasking

It is dangerous for your mental health. Not because you need to focus hard on what is going in the conference, but because it will ruin your productivity.

  1. Design A Proactive Routine – 50-Minute Hour

According to many clinical psychologists and psychotherapists, enforcing a 50-minute hour to your routine. It can genuinely work amazingly. This way, you can settle yourself with all necessary notes, assignments, and all other regular tasks and can have a luxurious free time to enjoy your personal life as well. 

Take good care of your energy levels. Keep yourself adequately hydrated and calm. Short pauses from Zoom meetings can serve the purpose of achieving ambitions while working from home.

  1. Practice Gratitude

Bear in mind with peace that you need to learn how to manage a current situation of uncertainty. 

It’s both more helpful and more comfortable than being absent. Imagine a quarantine life with no face time, Zoom, skype, and all socially connecting forums. Living and not being able to see people. It’s horrible even to imagine.

So just work smart to manage the unrealistic standards and, at the same time, do not neglect the clear advantages of internet communication.

Conclusion

The recent pandemic revolution has transformed the everyday lifestyle across the world. The way of communication and social interaction has been shifted to Zoom, Skype, and other virtual connections.

On the one side, it is good that we are going with our regular job tasks and are not lagging. Still, on the other hand, it is leaving us with severe health consequences, as spending extended time in front of digital screens is resulting in eye strain, mental exhaustion, hypertension, and poor emotional and physical wellbeing.

The COVID-19 global epidemic is likely to persist in being challenging beyond the challenges posed by virtual meetings, teachings, and training.

But it’s not the time to ruin yourself by not taking care of yourself; instead, it’s the right time to practice calmness and mindfulness with the proper routine.

Do not ignore the other benefits that you are enjoying at the moment! While hosting a meeting session, we can intentionally mute an annoying colleague in a way that is physically not possible.

Our loving pets can affectionately hang in our arms during our review of the expenditures of our colleague. You can again have a composed family life. You can spend time with each other, which with your regular busy schedule, was maybe not possible earlier.

Hopefully, the above discussed mindful practices will provide the potential to adaptability, flexibility, and resilience to teachers, trainers, coaches, employees, employers, and workers. And hopefully, these thoughtful tricks are going to serve as preparatory work for future challenges.

What else are you experiencing during COVID-19 lockdown?
Feel free to share your thoughts and personal experiences in the comments section below.

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