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Can you be tired of zoom?

Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, digital platforms have become more used both because of travel barriers and for educational reasons. "Applications such as Zoom as a video search and chat platform offer their users the opportunity to chat without leaving the comfort of their home, but on the other hand, using digital decks has positive and negative effects. These programs, which provide convenient access to the application with a single connection, are a fairly simple application, but on the other hand, they have a negative impact on human communication. Because sometimes faces are hidden and we can only hear voices,” he said.


"In the formation of Zoom fatigue, physical fatigue caused by sitting in the same environment for a long time and prolonged immobility can be seen as the main causes. Physical fatigue manifests itself in the form of neck and shoulder stiffness, eye fatigue, leg and headaches. On the other hand, listening, watching, taking notes in parallel with the number and duration of live activities, mental fatigue caused by the cognitive burden of mentally processing them should decisively not be ignored. This form of fatigue began to manifest itself as a new reality that teachers and students had to deal with. We can also say that it is a distracting system from a neuro-anatomical point of view because it affects our dopaminergic system,” he said.


Dr. ‘It is not possible to take non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, tone and pitch of voice and body language in video interactions and their accompanying emotions from the screen as in natural interaction,’ said Professor Aylin Tutgun Unal.: 

"Therefore, it takes a lot of energy to make more effort to process what is said without verbal cues, to pay more attention to them. When facial expressions and gestures are not clearly visible, there is a stronger dependence and attention to spoken words. In addition, 1-2 seconds of delayed image and sound, no matter how good the internet connection, also increases the cognitive effort needed to process the monitored ones. In addition, these delays can lead to incorrect or incomplete empathy. We can say that all this means extra mental effort. This effort suggests that screen fatigue is significantly related to mental fatigue. The online meeting fatigue in question is not only limited to Zoom, but also includes many other apps-Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime and so on.”


Dr. ‘From the most basic point of view, we need to concentrate more on video conversations,’ said Aylin Tutgun Unal, a lecturer, and continued his words: 

"Because it's not easy to understand non-verbal signs, to understand what the other person is trying to say according to tone of voice and body language. And we're there spiritually, but not physically. The dissonance caused by this causes mixed emotions and fatigue. First, it is necessary to address the concept of mental fatigue. In the basic psychological infrastructure of mental fatigue, there is reward-cost analysis, according to this analysis that we perform subconsciously in our brain, we analyze every behavior in this way. That's where the link between reward decency and fatigue comes in. Activation in our dopaminergic system is linked to reward and motivates our subjective arousal, energy increase and motivation. This is the opposite of fatigue. At this point, it can be debated whether the lack of adequate reward is a psychological infrastructure that pushes Zoom into fatigue. According to research, face-to-face interactions cause the reward areas in our brain to be activated more compared to video-based interactions. Therefore, more face-to-face communication means more reward, which reduces fatigue compared to subjective arousal.”


Zoom fatigue should be approached not only from a psychological point of view, but also from a physical and mental point of view. "Because this fatigue is both mental, psychological and physical fatigue, and the treatment plan should also be done by reviewing them.  Zoom recently studied area is starting to become signs of fatigue; physical fatigue, anxiety, lack of focus, lack of information hiding, domestic agitation, conflict with family members, the loss of productivity in general, all is explained as a feeling of fear and sadness against technology in general,” he said.


Dr. Faculty member Aylin Tutgun Unal listed what can be done in the face of Zoom fatigue as follows:

  • Disconnect when you need to exit zoom.
  • Deconstruct time between virtual meetings. Do what you want to do at that time. Meet your friend, go out and get some air. Have a real interaction or spend time with yourself.
  • Experience awareness. Do Yoga or meditation.
  • Be compassionate to yourself and your environment. Be aware that we are going through a difficult period, but it will end. 
  • Set daily routines and stick to them.  
  • First, we don't always have to make video calls. Good analysis can be done on whether a video call is needed or whether participants need to turn on their cameras. If the analysis tells you that image sharing is not necessary, you can offer a call over the phone.
  • Sharing notes about the meeting before the meeting can ensure that the preparation for the meeting is completed, that is, focused, when the video call occurs.
  • Measures such as mute your phone, turning off your mail notifications can keep you focused during a call. 

In addition to Zoom fatigue, another issue that forces students at the Academy is ‘Zoom bombing’. Professor Aylin Tutgun Unal said: "the Zoom bombing can be described as inappropriate, pornographic and racist photos during the video interview. The US federal Bureau of Investigation has alerted schools, institutions and the community to this issue, but no permanent solution has yet been found. Zoom bombing is a serious cybersecurity issue and can also have psychological consequences. It can lead to loss of concentration, mood deterioration and similar problems,” he said.


A digital War era has begun. Aylin Tutgun Unal, a lecturer, listed the recommendations for protection against disturbing actions as follows:

* Waiting rooms and access password must be required,

* Participants must be silent when entering,

* Volume must be adjusted by the host,

* Questions can be received via message via chat channel,

* It is preferable to turn on the sound only in the question and answer section.

Read: 10 steps to protect from depression


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