Living with COVID doesnt mean being a zoomed-out zombie – Sydney Morning Herald

We are all exhausted. While we can blame COVID-19, almost everything we have experienced about the pandemic has been mediated by technology. The deep-seated and unshakable tiredness we feel is less about the coronavirus and more about the new technology uses we have adopted because of it.

Our reliance on technology has been exacerbated by the pandemic.Credit:Istock

Think about it like this. COVID has demanded the need for information and for change. The urgency and fear driving both, has influenced new approaches to using technology.

Weve been constantly online refreshing news and social media feeds for the latest Covid information. Alongside this, major changes to our workplaces, schools, and lifestyle have demanded we learn new tech skills, new logistics. Our heads are swimming with case numbers and endless questions. How to use Zoom? Which vaccine is best? Whats a breakout room? When can we travel?

Meanwhile, the secondary impacts of our tech binge have been wreaking havoc with our headspace and energy. With news apps and social media always refreshable, notifications have come thick and fast. The new information simultaneously worries and constantly distracts us.

Our fatigue also relates to being thrust into a sci-fi digital life QR codes, video calls, telehealth that we as humans werent ready for.

Its no surprise we cant think straight. Our cognitive resources are drained. We are struggling with focus and forgetfulness. Its affecting our productivity everything takes longer, we are less able to problem solve and be creative. I was in line when the person in front of me forgot how to pay for petrol. The assistant knowingly smiled and said, Everyone is forgetting!

With Omicron circulating, our technological behaviours are here for the long term, but there is a way forward.


Step 1 is realising that old measures to keep happy and healthy online have stopped working. New wellbeing measures are needed. Take Zoom fatigue. In real life we dont stand within a metre of people and intently stare at their face for an hour. With many of us continuing to work remotely, it will continue to be our real life. Taking a screen break cannot sustainably be the one and only solution anymore.

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Living with COVID doesnt mean being a zoomed-out zombie - Sydney Morning Herald

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Reviewed and Recommended by Erik Baquero
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