All Zoomed Out?

6 min read
21 September 2022

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The article was first published by The Conversation, an independent non-profit news source that provides news analysis, commentary, and analysis from academics. Disclosure information is available on the original site.

All Zoomed Out? Zoom fatigue during the Christmas season: How to deal


Author: Jaigris Hodson, Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Royal Roads University

Article content Now it's officially. All across North America and most of Western Europe, the Christmas holidays will be completely different this year. We've been instructed to use virtual tools to share holiday cheer with our loved ones since the second outbreak of the pandemic. In fact, we might all find ourselves declining to attend holiday gatherings in an effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 before the announcement of the vaccine.

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Do we forget about the holidays? Or do we seek out new ways to make things memorable? My research on digital literacy shows ways to connect this holiday season, even as we stay physically apart.

Video is for everything

The initial few months of the pandemic full of Zoom fever. People were glued to work at happy hour games, board game nights, and other activities as well. There were many who felt like they had hit a brick wall. Zoom fatigue is real. Recent research suggests that the constant efforts to connect via video chat platforms (Zoom, Skype, Teams and similar) could be dragging us down.

Article content While you contemplate ways to spread the holiday cheer, you're trying to find ways to step away from everything that is done through video chat. Instead, you should learn from the ways digital natives use digital tools for communication, and celebrate the season with various platforms, as I'll describe below.

Different platforms for different social groups

My research has revealed that young people tend not to utilize social media platforms in a way that is based on their relationship with those platforms. PREMIUM E For example, teenagers use Facebook to keep in touch with their families and teachers, yet they use Snapchat with their friends. They play massive multiplayer games.

This type of engagement with digital tech is good for everyone. Zoom is a great tool to work with. However, Zoom users may also want to explore other ways to connect with their families and friends. You could use apps such as Rave, Airtime, or Teleparty to share your favorite movies and videos synchronously with your buddies. Or you could visit friends and family virtually in a game like Animal Crossing, World of Warcraft or Minecraft.

Article content Get digitally imaginative

There are many ways to connect with loved ones and spread holiday cheer. There are many ways to spread holiday cheer But these are a few of my favorites.

Share and curate a music playlist. Research has shown that sharing music is connected to friendship. You can create your own holiday music playlist using an online streaming platform such as Spotify and share it with others this season of giving. This could bring you closer together as you play online games, order food or send holiday-themed memes to your WhatsApp group.

Text messages: A 2016 University of Minnesota study found that text messages are viewed as more personal and warm than email. You can keep in touch with your beloved ones during the holiday season by sending them frequent text messages. You can also send emojis and gifs to your loved ones through your text messages to increase your emotional connection.

Article content: Host a virtual New Years's Ceilidh on YouTube. A Christmas ceilidh in Scotland is a Christmas tradition where family and friends get together to tell stories, dance, and sing songs. YouTube allows you to create a virtual party for the people you love. Each participant can upload a video of them singing songs or telling a story, performing a poem or playing a musical instrument. Then you can curate the videos into an album that the group can enjoy while eating their Christmas cookies. Research has proven that YouTube is where communities are formed, as well as a place where videos are shared.

Turn on, tune in the radio, and then scream

The holidays can be stressful, and you will feel inclined to accept every invitation, but you need to spend some time unplugging from electronic devices. For those who suffer from Zoom fatigue certain universities recommend that doctoral students include the time to detox from digital devices into their schedules.

Article content Sometimes, you'll need videoconferencing platforms to recreate the atmosphere of a holiday dinner or cocktail party, so be sure you combat Zoom fatigue by balancing your video-based chat with other ways to connect as described above.

When you get away from your computer, don't forget the old-fashioned ways to stay in touch. Send cards, answer the phone, or mail gifts to loved ones. Sometimes, these are the most meaningful because they are something we encounter seldom in our increasingly connected world.


Jaigris Hodson is awarded funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Canada Research Chairs Program.

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