Technology fatigue: What it means and how to reduce it

Since the beginning of the pandemic, older adults, caregivers, and families have been told repeatedly to use technology to stay in touch, and to prevent and control the spread of the virus. And while technology has been beneficial in keeping people connected during difficult times, there is no denying that people are exhausted from having to lean so heavily on it. More and more people have been complaining of "Zoom fatigue," a term referring to the popular videoconferencing platform. This expression reflects the anxiety and exhaustion linked to the overuse of virtual communication platforms such as Zoom, Skype, FaceTime, Google Meet or Microsoft Teams. 

Researchers looked at the main causes of technology fatigue and found it can be attributed to four main factors:

  • Excessive eye contact
  • Cognitive overload
  • Loss of mobility
  • The mirror effect

The good news is, there are things you can do to reduce overall fatigue. Turning off or minimizing your video, taking breaks, or switching up your location can help.

Technology can keep us connected, reducing feelings of loneliness and social isolation, but its overuse can also pose a challenge. Set boundaries with loved ones and family members about how often you feel comfortable connecting and try using some of the above techniques to make your time on screen a little less draining. Read through our resources below for more on reducing your technology fatigue.

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DISCLAIMER: Many of our Blog Posts were written before the COVID-19 pandemic and thus do not necessarily reflect the latest public health recommendations. While the content of these blogs identify activities that support optimal aging, it is important to defer to the most current public health recommendations such as social distancing and frequent hand washing. Some of the activities suggested within these blogs may need to be modified or avoided altogether to comply with current social distancing recommendations. To view the latest updates from the Public Health Agency of Canada, please visit their website