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Image / Agenda / Business

Is Screen Burnout making your job impossible?


by Laura May
02nd Mar 2021

getty

We’re all mutli-screening right now, from work and social gatherings to TV shows and doom-scrolling. It’s not good for our technology or our psyche.

Work is tough right now for many people. Lots of us are stuck at home, away from colleagues, friends, and family, with no clear date on when this will end. 

Understandably, we know have struggled with the issue of balance or burnout and found it difficult to power through when experiencing the latter. 

Given the fact we’re spending more minutes, hours, and days than ever at our computers, it’s unsurprising that screen burnout is making work impossible for many people. This is because it impacts both you and your computer, but there are ways of countering its effects. 

What is screen burnout

Screen burnout could really be two things. It might be a technician issue with your screen, known as burn-in, where your screen discolours, visuals fade, there are noticeable patterns, or ghosting (leftover images or text). These are sometimes inevitable outcomes for old screens but overuse that absolutely result in screen burnout.

The other type of screen burnout is more complex and not as easily remedied. It’s about you. Too much screen time can leave us all feeling burnt out by your screen. You’re feeling tired, worn out, and run down.

It is known as computer vision syndrome and some of the symptoms include headaches, dry and irritated eyes, shoulder and neck pain and light sensitivity.

So either you’ve worn out your screen, making it hard to do your job or your screen has worn you out, making it hard to do your job.

A little TLC 

We all need a little TLC from time to time. For some of us, those times have increased in light of the global pandemic forcing people to work from home. 

The reason for this is that, despite the best of intentions from many of us, we’re spending less time outside and more of it in front of our computer screens. We’re walking and exercising less, and we have no commute. We move from work meetings to casual Zooms, to Netflix and finally to social media, before heading to sleep before starting the process all over again.

You already know what the solution is: take yourself away from your screen. Oh if only it was that straightforward! Screens have become our work and our play, filling all our time from breakfast to putting your phone down at night, often long after the lights have been turned off.

The best way to counter this is with a schedule. Go for a walk before you’re due to start work and ensure when you take lunch, that you also take time away from the computer – no lunch al desko. Take regular breaks, even if that’s just a walk around the room every hour or so and set an alarm to remind you to move regularly. In the evenings, set yourself a screen cut off point. – science says it helps you to sleep.

Technical issues

Our computers may be machines but they suffer from stress too. And the results are much the same. Vision becomes blurred, thoughts linger and communication is stuttering. Working from home has made most people’s PCs (and their screens) more stressed than ever. 

You and I know why this is happening. We’re using our screens more than we did before. Where once we’d have attended and held meetings in person, now all job-related communications are made via your screen. We’re also working longer hours, and many of us are leaving our computers on, when we would have powered down before leaving the office. All of this impacts our computer’s health.

However you can make some adjustments to extend the life of your screen. If you simply can; close your computer down during the week, try to switch it off over the weekend and give it time to cool down and recover. If you’ve lost pixels, there are pixel repair software out there, repair tool such as JScreenFix can do the job. Switch to a white screensaver to remove or dampen your screen’s image retention.

Screen burnout affects you and your computer. It’s a problem that stems from overuse but if you can’t reduce the amount of time you spend on your PC you can put our recommendations into practice. 

While there’s no substitute for lowering your screen time, there are things you can do to mitigate screen burnout and stop you from reaching a point where both you and your PC are frazzled.