How Is Social Distancing Affecting Our Mental Health?
There are many reasons why so many of us need a vacation right now more than ever. And that’s because COVID-19 has changed how we work, and that also introduced a new term that we all became very familiar with: “Zoom Fatigue.”
Those lucky enough to work remotely during the pandemic, I am sure you have experienced seven consecutive video meetings, followed by a “virtual happy hour” with friends, and then spent an hour with family as they try to figure out how not to talk over each other on FaceTime...the pure exhaustion of “Zoom fatigue” is all too familiar an idea now.
The CEO and Founder of Zoom has rejected most in-person meetings and explained his rationale like this: “Why would I leave my office, or leave the country to do an hour meeting when I can do the same meeting over a Zoom?”
But, that’s cost bigger mental health issues because we are all on Zoom, all day, every day.
Here is a summary of the episode, and you’ll find the full-transcript below if you prefer browsing while listening.
Mental Health and Virtual Connections
- Humans are social creatures and communicators at heart. Research shows just how much we communicate nonverbally; body language, facial expressions, eye contact, little tiny things that we’re able to see, and decode, consciously or unconsciously.
- Put everyone into little postage stamps on your screen, and those cues are mostly gone. But your brain is still trying to seek out that same information, so it goes into gathering mode. Your brain quickly becomes overstimulated, trying to pay attention to so many different things, that it doesn’t really focus on any one thing particularly well.
- All of this leads to one thing, which many of us are experiencing right now: Exhaustion. Not the same “I’ve worked too much this week exhaustion, either.” It’s the “I’m not getting enough done, and having the right social interactions to actually enjoy my week and feel like I’m making progress”.’’’
- According to a recent NY Times article, dentists are getting increasingly more appointments from patients who have cracked their teeth from grinding them together. They are calling it an “epidemic of broken teeth.”
How Tech Can Help
- Can technology also create the “randomness of relationship building” that we experience when we’re in the office?
- How can you recreate those spontaneous interactions that make your office your office?
- Employee recognition can stimulate conversations and a sense of belonging in a remote workforce.
- Kin + Carta experimented using blockchain technology to create a “digital high-five” system. Within a year, it had 25,000 transactions