Investigating autistic traits, social phobia, fear of COVID-19, and internet use disorder variables in the context of videoconference fatigue
Sprache des Titels:
In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, many individuals turned to synchronous online video communication technologies as a substitute for real-world face-to-face interactions. Evidence indicates that some users of such technologies show symptoms of exhaustion and fatigue during and after videoconferences (VCs) ? this phenomenon is referred to as Videoconference fatigue (VC fatigue). Research characterizing the possible vulnerability factors for VC fatigue is still scarce and considered to be in its early stage. Contributing to closing this gap in the existing literature is the motivation for the present study. Survey data was collected from 311 German-speaking participants to explore the relationships of VC fatigue with several psychological factors including autistic traits, social phobia, Fear of COVID-19, tendencies towards Internet Use Disorders (IUD tendencies), and Fear of Missing Out (FoMO, trait and state variables). Results showed that VC fatigue was significantly positively correlated with all of these psychological factors except state-FoMO, and cross-sectional mediation analyses provided further evidence for the positive association between autistic traits and VC fatigue. Specifically, the relationship between autistic traits and VC fatigue was mediated by Fear of COVID-19 and IUD tendencies rather than social phobia, with the latter being a preregistered hypothesis. This study adds to the literature by revealing several possible vulnerability factors associated with VC fatigue. In essence, the present work sheds light on the complex association between autistic traits and VC fatigue. We discuss the implications of our study as well as its limitations and potential avenues for future research.