Why Are We So Tired 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 its advantages and online communication helps us survive and work. The fact is that technology and marketing make it possible for us and thanks for them.
But despite this thanks, I feel quite exhausted all day in the online world. And many of my friends and colleagues spend a lot of time in online meetings every day.
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, 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 and study the sources that may be behind it. Why the fatigue after a series of online meetings? I was looking for some logical explanation that would explain my hypothesis that I am more tired from an online meeting than I would from a personal meeting.
Research on Online Communication states
Research on communication states that if we imagine the flow of communication as 100 percent of the mutual exchange of information, 93% is non-verbal communication. It includes body language, attitude, gestures, facial expressions, movement, work with the voice (intonation), and the context in which the communication takes place. It’s a huge package of how people interact and communicate with each other. Verbal expressions and our words are, of course, important, but they are attributed to only 7 percent. Thus, body language very significantly supports and helps to decipher what we say in words, and how the other party can read and understand the content.
Our brain works like a scanner all the time, without us realizing it. It is through non-verbal expressions that he orients himself better in other people. The eyes, ears, and our minds are set up to constantly watch the person we are in contact with.
We are currently communicating with talking faces. We see mostly a face or a lot of faces at once, and it’s an increased burden on the brain because it needs to focus more and gets, as my fellow databases would say, little data it needs to evaluate the situation and meaningful decryption. It simply costs us (our minds) more energy and effort to understand the context.
Another stressful factor in screen conversations is, for example, a weak internet connection, when the image is not very sharp and this represents an increased burden on our brain. Then again he needs to be more active and spend more energy on it.
Sound noises, micro-noise, crackling, or distortion of the human voice force our “scanner” to move to a higher speed, and thus again to increase the demands on energy consumption.
And now imagine an online group discussion of 5-6 people when several people want to say something at once. What is this idea? Does it suit you more online or at one table?
Definitely me in one room and ideally behind a round table. smiley
Tips and tricks for better Online Communication
- During breaks, play sports, breathe fresh air, shake off stress, for example, dance, sing, box in a pillow, sometimes just a few minutes to get rid of the accumulated stress hormone smiley.
- Quality headphones and glasses with a blue filter will help transmit data and protect our sensors.
- For meetings where there are more people, agree on the rules of communication in advance.
- Have only the necessary number of video calls per day.
- Limit calls to the necessary length to avoid unnecessary calls.
- Distribute meetings evenly throughout the day.