LSU professor: Many not only Zoom fatigued but more self-conscious and self-aware

After a year of video conferencing, technology may make people more self-conscious, professor says

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Some people love virtual calls for work while others hate it and it turns out, there may be a few more side effects than just Zoom fatigue.

“We are constantly trying to monitor, ‘Am I fitting in the box correctly? Can they see what’s going on behind me? You now can hear the dog barking in the background,’ all of that sort of stuff,” said Dr. Jake Smith, a management instructor with LSU Flores MBA.

Whether on Microsoft Teams, Skype, or Zoom, within this past year, many have all had to stare at a screen longer than they would like. It may seem more convenient to do all of this from home but folks lose more than they think, according to Smith.

“When you are on Zoom, you have your own little box and it’s very unnatural for us to look at ourselves while we’re talking or even while we are in a normal classroom or a normal meeting. So, it’s increased this self-awareness and self-consciousness,” Smith added.

The argument is people are not fully focused on what’s happening in the meeting due to that heightened self-awareness.

Leticia Santos is a PhD student at LSU and she’s always on Zoom.

“As a student, it’s like I can do several things at the same time,” said Santos. “I’m never focused. I feel like I don’t get enough information that I actually need to get my subjects done.”

Another factor that Smith and Santos point out is a lot of less face-to-face interaction happens, which can make people feel more lonely.

However, some say the virtual meetings or classes don’t always bother them. According to our WAFB poll, most folks said they liked Zoom but more say they despise that way of meeting, which may stick around even after the pandemic.

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