The university recently hosted a meeting to help students deal with Zoom fatigue and stress. On Zoom. While Zoom fatigue for me is no different than being sick of going to class regularly, I could not escape the irony of having people who are sick of Zoom try to deal with it by attending another meeting on Zoom.
“I appreciate them trying to help,” Ivanna Pilou, a senior psychology student said, “But I attend class on my computer. I do my homework on my computer. Give it a break.”
Why the university thought a Zoom meeting was a good idea rather than sending out an email with simple tips for combating Zoom fatigue, I have no idea. A nice, short read. I would have appreciated that much more.
After almost two full semesters of online work, or at least I think that is about how long we have been doing this, then the summer session and telework internship I did, I could not be more ready to quit the hour-long meetings where I sit at my desk and people talk at me.
I wonder how many of us are actually paying attention these days. It reminds me of my father when my stepmother or any of us daughters are talking about something that he lacks interest in. He does his best, but you can practically see his eyes glaze over.
“Class just makes me tired,” Pilou said. “The professors are talking and I’m in dreamland thinking about my next nap. All I hear when someone talks is like, sad trombone.”
An article from Stanford did more for me than any Zoom meeting ever has. It explains some reasons for Zoom fatigue and how we can fix them. Reducing the size of faces can help, setting up video so you only see people other than yourself, getting up and moving around, or taking audio-only breaks can help.
I hope my professors hear that. Stop making me turn on video guys, the internet in my room sucks. I hate seeing my own face on camera. If the camera is on, I have to sit still. It would be so much easier to stay engaged if I could get up and walk during class.
“The worst part is how easy it is to skip Zoom classes. If I’m on campus, I’m already there so may as well stick it out. But at home? I can press a button — or not — and skip class. So, it feels like, if I’m tired, why go?” said sophomore biology major Diane Touleeve.
Breakout rooms don’t exactly make things easier. I get that we can interact with classmates, but there’s awkward silence more than half of the time.
“I can’t stand it either, when you go into a breakout room and nobody talks,” Touleeve said. “Obviously nobody wants to be there, we’re all sick and tired of it. Discussion posts on Blackboard too. Forced conversation is bad conversation.”
As much as I love not having to physically go somewhere for class — I can grab lunch no problem between classes and wear pajamas all day — I hate Zoom. I hate being forced to sit still at my desk, stare into my own dead-fish eyes on camera, and just count down the seconds until it ends.
Turning off my video helps, going for walks helps, but all in all it still sucks. Attending another Zoom meeting to figure out how to make myself hate Zoom meetings less is a big old no thank you from me.
Good try, WSU. Valiant effort but uh, sorry, no dice. Not the best plan.