All About Kids
How Our Kids Get and Deal With Zoom Fatigue
If COVID-19 won’t wear us out, Zoom Fatigue will. And it’s been wearing out our kids since the pandemic’s started.
We want to put our kids through a lot of online classes to keep their minds off the pandemic. Unfortunately, we now have to contend with a new disease: one known as Zoom Fatigue. As adults, we see it as a time where it takes more energy to open our phones. Some of us even refuse to turn on the video just to spare ourselves the effort of changing clothes and looking presentable. But how does Zoom Fatigue show up in our kids?
Kids in different ages show different signs of Zoom Fatigue
“It’s super, super tiring,” shares Kim, a Law student. “Like, I had a Zoom/Google Meet almost every day for 2 years for classes. I got headaches for staring at the screen for too long. There was also dealing with the frustration of getting disconnected randomly. Then, there’s the feeling of loneliness and the depressive thoughts that just bleed into it and makes the idea of meeting people on Zoom even worse.”
For the last two years, our kids — whether toddlers, tweens, teens, or young adults — had to go through online classes. Unlike sitting in a physical classroom where communication was easier, the Internet wasn’t the most cooperative in making sure our kids stayed connected. While many of us dreamed of classes being this easy to attend, our kids paid the price of it feeling impersonal.
“There’s a higher tendency to multi-task,” shares Kaelyn, a med school student. “It’s also impersonal and super draining. And it’s so much easier for the attention to get divided.”
“It was so hard to make friends,” says Vanessa’s 5-year-old son. “All we have are lectures.”
If it won’t show in their thoughts, it’ll show in their bodies.
Zoom Fatigue doesn’t only take a toll on our kids mentally. But physiologically as well. Screens emit a form of blue light which can be damaging to our kids’ eyes in the long run. Younger kids have complained as well of having too much screen time despite their love for video games. “My eye grades definitely shot up,” complains Kim. “Headaches became common, too.”
“Anything longer than 2-3 hours I get really dizzy and it’s so tiring,” complains the 3rd-grade daughter of Mary Ann. “Mom always tries to make sure I don’t go over than that. My brother needs to do 5 hours a week and he’s just so tired right after.”
The bottom line however is that our kids feel drained and exhausted from going through Zoom school. But is this a sign to bring back face-to-face classes?
How can kids play video games for so long but experience Zoom Fatigue?
Video games can be a lot more appealing than staring at a screen with lectures all day. Some games really pull our kids into a different world, making them feel as if they’re not even in front of a computer. They get to experience the world which makes it less tiring for them. Our kids get to interact with different players and items in that world unlike Zoom classes, where they just stare at a screen as if they’re watching a movie.
Dealing with the fatigue by mixing it up
We’ve tried being creative and mixing it up by adding some physical activities. Some of us have even tried lessening screen time in general so our kids will have enough energy not to fight off Zoom Fatigue. While many of our interventions won’t immediately cure the Zoom Fatigue in our kids, it’ll teach us to be more mindful especially when we accidentally or absentmindedly pressure our kids to get better grades to cope with the lack of entrance exams.