Dealing with Zoom Fatigue | Confessions of a Community College Dean

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Meetings are the price of administration.  I knew that when I made the leap.  But Zoom meetings in rapid succession are something else altogether.

 

Zoom fatigue, I think, is an issue of quantity over quality.  The meetings themselves can be great; I’ve had a few this week that would make my personal highlight reel.  But after a while, even the good ones start to blur together.

 

I smiled ruefully at one point in reading the recent Chronicle piece about why freshmen at residential colleges are struggling this year.  The usual antidote for a sense of isolation at college is involvement, and many clubs and such have moved online.  But after a while, the last thing many people want to do after a long day of staring at the laptop is stare some more at the laptop. 

 

It’s true.  

 

I’ve already tried to move one-on-one meetings to old fashioned voice calls whenever possible.  With voice calls I can stand up and move around, which helps.  There’s also less lag, so awkward moments of talking over each other are fewer.  If nothing else, at least I get to look away from the screen for a while.  It helps, as far as it goes, but most meetings involve larger groups.

 

Most of the time, I don’t turn off my camera for longer than a minute.  (The most common reason is a need to stand up and stretch.)  In the context of most meetings, leaving the camera off would be considered rude.  I’ll admit liking the “mute” function when I cough or sneeze; in that instance, it strikes me as refreshingly civilized.  But that’s a small consolation.  

 

Wise and worldly readers — especially those of you whose days are chockablock with meetings — have you found effective ways to combat Zoom fatigue?  I’d be happy to engage on Twitter (@deandad) or via email (deandad at gmail dot com).  The best answers will be shared!

 

 

 



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