Don’t know about you, but I am spending significant time in Zoom lately. And it is exhausting.
Today I had just one Zoom meeting, with seven participants. It went about an hour. I got up after leaving the meeting physically stiff and mentally burned out.
When you are on camera and others are watching, you are “performing” with your public face. At least I am. I sit straighter, concentrate, pay attention constantly. I’m sure that during a Zoom I’m not moving around as much as usual, not taking the micro-breaks that I normally would. Constant self-consciousness is draining.
It doesn’t help that the Zooms take place in my office, sitting in my usual chair in front of my laptop like always – but normally without the overlaid burden of public display.
The time waiting for the first participant to join a meeting may be the most stressful. I want to multitask as usual, do other work, but the reality that I could be being watched at any moment keeps jerking me back. (I thought I set the Zoom preference “play a sound when someone joins,” but that does not seem to be happening.) Once the first person comes in, it’s easier… at least I know I’m on camera then and can act the part.
The absolute worst is waiting in the wrong meeting for others to show up, unaware that the meeting is happening elsewhere all the while. It’s like waiting for a date who is standing you up. Done this a few times.
Don’t mind me. Just venting. You may return now to your regularly scheduled Zooms, Skypes, and FaceTimes.
P.S. – Just found this article (dated today) on Zoom fatigue. And this one from four days ago: “Skype and Zoom test people’s psychology. The digital atmosphere is thinner and some find it harder to breathe.” Amen to that.