Cybersickness: A New Excuse to Play Hooky

Cybersickness causes a sort of vertigo after using virtual reality devices, Photos: Carlos Gomez BovA and mastaka/iStock/Thinkstock

Most employers will tell you that they have heard it all when it comes to employees’ excuses for taking a day off work. And given the East End’s small town environment, it’s difficult for an employee to call in sick with the fake flu and then joyfully bounce around town.

So what should you do when you just need to be anywhere but the office?

Why not try cybersickness as an excuse?

For example, a Dan’s employee might say, “Mr. Rattiner, I can’t come in today because I was watching my 3-D television and now I have cybersickness”.

Oh, yes, my friends, cybersickness is real and it is here to stay. Google it and you’ll find the illness is defined on as “a term to describe motion sickness experienced by users of head-steered Virtual Reality systems (McCauley and Sharkey, 1992 in PRESENCE ).” This can be in the form of 3-D video games, 3-D movies and 3-D television.

But if you are going to use this as an excuse, you better first get acquainted.

Consider those moments when your sense of motion doesn’t match your sense of sight. Cybersickness can cause side effects such as headaches, blurred vision, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. It has also been known to cause an inability to focus, increased salivation and excessive sweating. No employer could expect someone to work when they are experiencing these symptoms.

The duration of these symptoms can vary. And that’s the beauty of it. You might feel too sick to go into work, but shortly thereafter, you are cured and well enough to hit the beach.

But it even gets better.

Studies now confirm that in certain cases, because the Apple iOS 7 is so advanced, it has actually caused cybersickness. The culprit is a combination of the high-resolution screen, the parallax effect on the home screen and zooming in and out of the apps.

This can actually give users an on-the-spot excuse to leave work early.

“Mr. Rattiner, I was just using the iOS 7 and I got cybersickness. I need to go home.”

Readers, I am not suggesting that you abuse this information, but you never know when it can come in handy.

Enjoy your day off.

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