The toxicity of Zoom fatigue

With almost a year since the first lockdown, Zoom has officially become part of our daily lives. Naturally, any way to communicate with friends or family in the earliest days of the pandemic led to a rise in popularity for apps like Zoom and Team, while the once popular House Party had a swift demise.

Video calls have been there to replace our in person social interactions, yet we all know they in no way replace them. Newfound dependence on this technical communication has given rise to delightful memes and awkward moments. From Handforth Parish Council to the cat-lawyer mishap, the use of Zoom has also allowed for some amusing moments to come out of our University seminars. 

It is hard to feel completely optimistic about a Zoom-filled future, having gone through almost a full year of online university. Most students feel like they are “stuck to a screen”, and dread opening their laptop. Such a situation is made worse by the third major lockdown, Scotland’s persistent winter weather and closure of most businesses. Most students’ outlets are forced online, and overwhelmingly replaced by the likes of Netflix, Disney+ and TikTok. 

One student mentioned that she found it difficult to find any way to relieve herself of stress. Our generation has become tied to the rise of technology, yet the last year has completely changed how everyone sees it. Another student stated they felt completely drained from their Zoom classes, while another mentioned the impact it had on their anxiety. 

Yet not everything is bad about Zoom. During a time when little can be done over how we approach our social lives, for many students, video calls are the only social interaction they have with anyone outside their household. It has given way to funny moments at a time we definitely need them. 

From technical issues to awkward silences each student will most likely end up with a few funny stories from Zoom calls. Especially as each person sees one another in their own homes, some things will go awry. Lecturers’ pets coming to screens, some people being a bit underdressed, and some even smoking.

In the comfort of our own homes, trying to balance our behaviour between online classes and how we might act at home is certainly not easy. Many students will be able to take away many memories from their Zoom days at University. 

Zoom has become a part of a daily routine for the student body. Many students have stated their struggle with screen fatigue and the impact online university is having upon their mental health. 

Most of those I spoke to stated that these experiences have dwindled slightly as everyone has gotten used to Zoom, or have become an expectation as part of the online University experience. 

Zoom has definitely lost the novelty that endured over the first weeks of lockdown. Hopefully, one day we will be able to walk back into classrooms and only have to think back to Zoom with a few of these funny memories left. 

Image: Andrea Piacquadio via