Videoconferencing in Medicine: A Theory of Zoom Fatigue

The author attempts to question this interesting thread here:

Photo by Edward Jenner on

Why is video-conferencing so exhausting?

The question is worth asking because it might be helpful for us to understand what is involved in an activity many of us cannot now avoid. It’s also worth asking because of how it helps us think about human communication under any circumstances.

While the post is quite banal in its “philosophical underpinnings” and offers no concrete answer, this observation below is quite pertinent:

With regards to video conferencing specifically, it’s much too tempting to multi-task while we do so. But as we should all know by now, nobody multi-tasks well. It’s especially exhausting to be continuously dropping a conversational thread and picking it up again. Something as seemingly benign as a notification flashing on the screen, even if we don’t attend to it for more than a split second, can throw us off the thread of thought and the momentary work of trying to pick it up again takes a mental toll.

In the earlier iteration of this blog, I had expressly mentioned about attention deficits and the effect of distraction on our workflows. Video conferencing and (possibly telemedicine) suffer from the same issues.

It merits a deeper dive.

via A Theory of Zoom Fatigue – The Convivial Society