Legal Operations » Close-up Eye Gaze Will Give You “Zoom Fatigue”

Close-up Eye Gaze Will Give You “Zoom Fatigue”

April 20, 2023

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Are you experiencing “Zoom fatigue” and do your online meetings feel awkward? Nikolaus Troje, Research Chair in reality research at York University, Toronto, says the reason is that the visual cues we use to communicate in person can become misleading or disruptive during a video call. During in-person conversations, we communicate most with our eyes. It helps us with taking turns when speaking, lets us gauge understanding or interest, and establishes trust and rapport. In video calls, we may not be able to control our responses to misleading visual cues like false eye contact. Even though you feel you are being looked at, the other person doesn’t actually see you. Another problem with video calls is the loss of perspective. The person we’re speaking to and the objects in their background appears as a flat image. The lengthy viewing of these flat images and constantly staring at oneself contribute to video call exhaustion. These visual cues are lost during phone conversations, but our brains can compensate, Troje said. When talking on the phone, however, you relate to the other person or persons by the tone of their voices. An irritated tone may indicate something other than exasperation with you. Flat image or no flat image, you can tell how the person is relating to you by their facial expression.

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