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Video Fatigue and Effects on Mental Health

As we all know, 2020 has been a year of firsts, some good and some not as good.

One area of firsts, which many of us had to embrace, is an increased reliance on technology. Most of us were already using some technology daily (computers, cell phones), but the biggest change has been the necessity of using video technology. We are now doing a majority of our communication via Webex, or Zoom, or Facetime, or Google Duo…there are too many platforms to mention all of them. Our workdays consist of one-on-one meetings, group meetings, training, and conferences that are all taking place virtually. Keep in mind this may also be occurring at home, using technology to talk to your child’s school, family, and friends.

This technology has made our lives easier and more convenient, but many of us have also experienced video fatigue. When we are using video technology, our minds are trying to process not only what we are hearing but also what we are seeing. This is hard to do online, especially in a group meeting looking at multiple people all at once. National Psychiatrist Gianpiero Petriglieri explains this by saying, “Our brain has to make an extra effort to compensate for all those aspects of communication, and that’s tiring.”

Not only are we reading body language, but we are also looking at ourselves while we are speaking; this is not what we are used to as a normal part of communication. We will start to feel tired because we are not meant to stare at a screen for extended periods. Remember, we are also using increased technology in our personal lives to keep in touch with family and friends, so it may feel as though we are “on” 24/7. This can be a reminder that we do not get to see people in person, which can be seen as a loss.

Tips to reduce video fatigue:

  • Is there some communication that could be completed through a phone call or an email? Can you call family/friends on the phone instead of using Facetime?
  • Take time throughout the day to get up and move, stand at your desk, walk around the office, give your mind and body a break.
  • When on video, limit your multi-tasking, focus on what is at hand, and be in the moment.
  • Try to implement some of the tips mentioned above. First and foremost, you need to take care of yourself, including your mental health, during these times. Give yourself some grace and be kind to yourself.

If you are interested in additional information, please contact Melissa Koch, LIMHP Juvenile Behavioral Health Specialist at Melissa.koch@nebraska.gov 

 

Melissa Koch |Juvenile Behavioral Health Specialist | Probation Rehabilitative Services | 402-471-3730