Now, as many continue to partake in hour-long Zoom sessions, scientists have concluded an experiment to find out what could be making you feel what is now being called "Zoom fatigue," and there are multiple reasons.
Stanford University Professor Jeremy Bailenson conducted a study examining the psychological effects of hours of daily video calls, and he was able to find four primary reasons for Zoom fatigue.
The first reason why you may be experiencing the phenomenon is excessive amounts of close-up eye contact, as Bailenson says the amount of eye contact during video chats is just "unnatural."
The size of your computer monitor is also a factor when it comes to constant eye contact, as some faces could seem too big or too small for comfort.
“What’s happening, in effect, when you’re using Zoom for many, many hours is you’re in this hyper-aroused state,” said Bailenson.
Zoom fatigue can also be caused by frequently looking at yourself. As Bailenson claims, the more you look at yourself, the more you criticize yourself, and even looking at yourself in a mirror can have emotional consequences.
The third reason is an extreme lack of movement when sitting through Zoom calls, as research shows humans will perform better cognitively if they move more while working.
The final reason explaining why you might be more tired than you've ever been before is simply due to the fact that your brain is working harder when having a virtual chat rather than an in-person one.
Picking up nonverbal cues, such as a simple head nod, is much easier when chatting in-person, but when trying to converse with someone on camera, you have to really exaggerate.
"You’ve got to make sure that your head is framed within the center of the video," said Bailenson, "If you want to show someone that you are agreeing with them, you have to do an exaggerated nod or put your thumbs up. That adds cognitive load as you’re using mental calories in order to communicate."