Avoiding Digital Burnout

Digital burnout is the consequence of overuse of technology. It is prevalent in our society today as the result of its availability and in pandemic times – a necessity for meeting the challenges of everyday life. Digital burnout results from trying to exist in two different worlds, physical and virtual; but the indicators are similar to old-fashion burnout. Those who face digital burnout experience depleted energy levels, lower productivity, and chronic stress and physical ailments.

The pandemic has increased digital burnout because we now rely on technology for practically every aspect of our lives – work, school, staying in touch with family and friends, entertainment, and making purchases. The uncertainty of how long we will deal with the effects of the pandemic increases the likelihood of digital burnout and only magnifies the symptoms. The pandemic has effectively altered our state of mind and allowed for few alternatives to the digital work for the near future.

All students face the possibility of digital burnout, but all will not seek the same resolutions. Many GT students have reported positive impacts of being online and continuing their education virtually. GT students are not a homogenous group. A segment of the GT student population views digital burnout as a challenge; something to overcome and to find ways to help others do the same. Avoiding digital burnout requires GT students to look to time management skills, self-care, and engaging in digital detox when overwhelmed.

Teachers play a vital role in reducing student digital burnout. They can include online games during the school day and suggest off-line activities such as going outside to explore nature and get needed physical exercise. Teachers can urge their students to use journaling to express their feeling and create to-do lists that includes day-to-day goals. Both activities can be done off-line; physically writing down goals and how they are feeling. Students should be encouraged to consider changing things up; where they attend online classes, improving the esthetics of their surroundings, decluttering study areas, or how they communicate with peers.  

What can teachers do to prevent their own digital burnout? Teachers are facing online class time while providing in-person instruction, maintaining attendance records, keeping in touch with students and parents, providing feedback to students, and attending multiple Zoom sessions. Practical interventions to lessen the potential for digital burnout for teachers include pre-recording lessons, utilizing both recorded and live presentations during class time, and re-using others’ materials and lessons. Unplugging, setting time boundaries with students and colleagues, being sure to taking evenings and weekends off, taking breaks during the day and not skipping meals, and limiting emotional involvement with work.

How can parents intervene in their child’s digital use to minimize burnout? When children are learning from home, parents can attempt to maintain as much structure as possible regarding their daily schedule – rising at the same time, getting dressed, and following a schedule similar to their regular school day. Parents can provide a work space for school separate their child’s play areas and reserve evenings and weekends for family time and time away from technology.

A Transcript of this chat can be found at Wakelet.

Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Thursdays at 8E/7C/6M/5P in the U.S. and Fridays at 1PM NZST/11 AM AEST/1 AM UK  to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Wakelet. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news and information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

About the authorLisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at: gtchatmod@gmail.com


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How to Avoid Teacher Burnout with Distance Learning

How Parents Can Avoid Burnout when Children are Learning from Home

The 7 Best Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout in 2020

I’ve Been Teaching Online for Years. Here’s How to Prevent Burnout During a School Closure | EdWeek

Finding Balance: Are We Heading towards Digital Burnout?

Tips for Handling Remote Burnout for Teachers

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What are the 5 stages of burnout?

Teacher Burnout & COVID-19: Supporting School Staff

Curbing Teacher Burnout During the Pandemic | Edutopia

3 Ways to Help Students Avoid Virtual Burnout

Coping with stress of coronavirus crisis a challenge for California’s students | EdSource

Digital Burnout: What Can We Do? (YouTube 2:19) | University of Michigan

UK: Digital Burnout and 4 Tips How to Minimise It

Digital Burnout: COVID-19 Lockdown Mediates Excessive Technology Use Stress | World Social Psychiatry Journal

Examining the Relationship Between Student School Burnout and Problematic Internet Use (pdf) | Educational Sciences: Theory and Practice

Cybraryman’s Screen Time Page

Image courtesy of Pixabay Pixabay License

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad

Posted on October 13, 2020, in anxiety, Education, gifted and talented, gifted education, Mental Health, Neuroscience, parenting, Psychology, Social Emotional, Social Media, Technology and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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