Feeling Serious Video Fatigue? You Can Probably Blame the Presence of Absence

Woman sitting on floor working on laptop
Wednesday, May 6, 2020

As people across the country participate in an increasing number of video calls per week, a sense of "video chat fatigue" is setting in for many. Sonyia Richardson, clinical associate professor of Social Work, recently discussed the phenomenon for an article published by wellandgood.com.

Kells McPhillips, in the article “Feeling Serious Video Fatigue? You Can Probably Blame the Presence of Absence’,” wrote that Richardson describes “presence of absence” as a “deep state of heaviness and separation.”

“Individuals are on a call together, so they are in the same space virtually, but there’s still an underlying pain of separation,” said Richardson.

McPhillips listed Richardson’s six ways to get past the presence of absence and connect on video calls:

  • At the beginning of each call, check in with every person
  • Circulate a meeting agenda beforehand
  • Make “unmuted moments” essential
  • Use Zoom’s chat feature
  • Make it super-clear that you see the other people
  • Keep in mind that you’re still acclimating to video socializing

Read more about Richardson’s advice.