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How to prevent technology fatigue during COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 7:08 AM, Jun 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-06 09:08:46-04

There are a variety of platforms people can use to virtually connect during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, psychiatrists like Melina Payne say that some people are experiencing fatigue after consuming this much technology.

"It's a deep, deep fatigue, because our brains are not used to processing so much data, so intensely for such a prolonged period of time," said Payne.

Payne told MTN News that this exhaustion can happen to anyone of any age and it's your brain's way of trying to filter through overstimulation.

"You know, you have a field of 20 faces -- or you even scroll because there are 100 hundred people at the meeting," said Payne. "But the brain isn't really made to visually take in all that information. It has no skills to say what's the most important."

She explained why meeting virtually is different from being in person, “58% of the data we're used to getting with people by being in the room with them is just not. Body language, people are distracted by their own image."

She has some tips:

  1. Change up your background. If you have the ability to take your meeting outside do that.
  2. To prevent overstimulation spotlight the person who is talking, don't take your meetings in grid mode.
  3. 20, 20, 20 method. Every 20 minutes get up, take 20 steps and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  4. Establish expectations at the beginning of your meeting.

Payne says too much technology comes with eye strain and has suggestions on how to prevent that, "every 20 minutes, get up, take twenty steps, look at something at least 20 feet away and keep looking at it for 20 seconds."

She suggests artificial tears to prevent your eyes from drying out and make sure the lighting in the room you're working in is bright enough. Payne also says that you should set specific boundaries for when you're off of work -- that way your colleagues aren't calling you after hours and exhausting you further.