Why Are We So Exhausted Of Online Communication?
How do you feel after a few hours of online communication? With or without headphones, in sweatpants or a skirt, with tea or coffee … I test different ways of smiling. The home office has advantages; online communication helps us survive and work. The fact is that technology and marketing make it possible for us, and thanks to them.
But despite this thanks, I feel quite exhausted all day in the online world. And many of my friends and colleagues spend much time in online meetings daily.
After the first weeks of online meetings, I thought that my mind was adapting to a new, more intense functioning in the virtual world, and therefore I am more exhausted than after the same number of personal meetings.
After several months of the pandemic, I started receiving messages from friends and colleagues: “I’m probably burned out, I need a vacation, the quarantine is exhausting me, I hate meetings.” ”
Almost all of these acquaintances work in positions where they manage, coordinate, and need to be in more intense contact with other people. They undergo a several-hour marathon of online meetings every day.
And that inspired me to think about and study the sources behind it. Why the fatigue after a series of online meetings? I was looking for a logical explanation to explain my hypothesis that I am more tired from an online meeting than a personal meeting.
Research on Online Communication states
Based on the communication research, online communication can present challenges for effective communication due to its reliance on verbal communication and limited non-verbal cues. Non-verbal communication plays a significant role in communication, accounting for 93% of the mutual exchange of information. It includes body language, attitude, gestures, facial expressions, movement, intonation, and context.
In online communication, we see mostly talking faces, which can be an increased burden on the brain as it needs to focus more and gets fewer data to evaluate the situation and context. This increased burden can be further compounded by a weak internet connection, leading to a less sharp image and more demands on energy consumption.
In group discussions of 5-6 people online, there can be challenges with people talking over each other or difficulty in hearing due to sound noises or distortion of the human voice. This can increase the demands on the brain and energy consumption.
Whether online or in-person communication is more suitable depends on the specific situation and the individuals involved. In some cases, online communication can be more convenient, while in other cases, face-to-face communication may be more effective.
Better Online Communication
Here are some additional tips and tricks for better online communication:
Use clear and concise language: Avoid overly complex or industry-specific jargon that others may need help understanding. Speak clearly and concisely to ensure that your message is conveyed effectively.
Practice active listening: Listening actively involves giving your full attention to the person speaking, making eye contact, and asking questions for clarification. This will help you better understand what is being said and respond appropriately.
Use visual aids: When presenting information or explaining complex ideas, use visual aids such as slides or diagrams to help convey your message more effectively.
Be aware of your body language: Even though you may communicate online, your body language can still affect how others perceive you. Sit straight, maintain eye contact, and avoid distracting gestures or movements.
Practice empathy: Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider their perspective when communicating. This can help to build stronger relationships and promote better understanding.
Take breaks: As you mentioned, taking breaks is important for reducing stress and maintaining focus. Schedule daily breaks to stretch, walk around, or do something else to clear your mind.
Test your technology: Before a meeting or presentation, test your technology to ensure that everything is working properly. This helps avoid technical issues and improve the overall quality of your communication.
These tips help you communicate effectively online!
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