UAlberta experts offer tips for handling “digital overload”

August 17, 2020

Whether working from home or embarking on an online postsecondary program, time spent in front of a screen is likely to be increasing. University of Alberta professor Ian Gellathy, psychologist Jason Murray, and digital literacy researcher Linda Laidlaw write about how mentally draining full days in front of a laptop can be. They suggest ways to cope with this digital overload, including: taking breaks away from the screen, assessing the need for video meetings, breaking during meetings, keeping virtual meetings short, and avoiding multitasking during online meetings. They also suggest using stronger verbal cues to make up for the lack of nonverbal cues sent and received online, cutting down on video and audio “clutter” by muting or turning off your camera, and setting up informal online meetings for people to feel the social connection they may be missing from the physical workplace.