Anyone who works from home has undoubtedly attended at least one Zoom meeting. This video conferencing app -- and others like it -- attempt to provide the same features of an in-person meeting, but with social distancing benefits.
Zoom is certainly a helpful and necessary tool for the work-from-home crowd, but some people report feeling uncharacteristically drained and disconnected after their meetings. This "Zoom exhaustion" seems to be caused by the fact that we cannot use body language cues to communicate and connect as we can during in-person meetings.
How We Communicate in Person
Whenever we communicate with someone in person, we subconsciously pay attention to their body language and facial cues. Every eye movement, head tilt, frown, or smile provides us with additional information. Body language can be so subtle and subconscious that some people -- including law enforcement officers and professional poker players -- scrutinize it to detect lies.
We also engage in "facial mimicry," where we mirror someone else's expressions or body language to demonstrate empathy or understanding. For example, if someone tells a joke and starts laughing, we naturally want to smile and chuckle to show that we understood the joke. If your boss walks in with tense shoulders and a frown on her face, you'll show a more serious facial expression, too, to acknowledge the gravity of the situation.