Avoiding News Fatigue

3 min read

Access to information is easier than ever. However, this abundance of information can sometimes be overwhelming, leading to an increasingly prevalent phenomenon known as "news fatigue". In this article, we will explore solutions and habits to adopt to avoid it.

News fatigue, sometimes called information overload, occurs when the amount of available information surpasses our capacity to assimilate it. This can result from constant exposure to various information channels such as social media, continuous news, emails, and much more. Unlike physical fatigue, news fatigue is not always evident, but it can have serious consequences on our mental well-being.

Almost everyone is likely to experience news fatigue at some point, but certain groups are more vulnerable than others. Information professionals, knowledge workers, and younger generations who grew up with constant access to technology are particularly prone to feeling the effects of information fatigue. However, no one is immune, as information bombards our daily lives without showing any signs of slowing down.

Here are some simple habits to adopt to prevent it:

Set boundaries

One of the first steps in combating news fatigue is to establish clear boundaries. This may include dedicated screen-free periods, specific times to check the news, and uninterrupted sleep hours without notifications.

Filter sources

Given the multitude of available information sources, it is essential to carefully select those to which you allocate time. Following reliable and relevant sources helps reduce the amount of superfluous information. This can aid in reducing time spent sorting through irrelevant and potentially stressful information.

Video and images can evoke more traumatic experiences. Limiting exposure to print media or radio can provide distance and make it easier to control the information to which one is exposed.

Take breaks

Taking regular breaks is essential to prevent information fatigue. Whether it's a short walk, reading a poem, stretching, or a coffee break, these moments allow you to temporarily step away from screens and refocus.

Limit screen time

Planning regular digital detox periods is crucial. This may include days without social media, screen-free weekends, or even disconnected vacations to allow the brain to regenerate.

Practice Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness are excellent ways to counter information overload. By taking a few minutes each day to focus on breathing and clearing the mind, you can strengthen your ability to manage external stimuli.

News fatigue has become an unavoidable reality in our hyper connected society. By adopting simple habits, it is possible to navigate this ocean of information without succumbing to overload. The key lies in being aware of our information habits and taking proactive measures to protect our mental well-being in an increasingly digital world. It's about finding a personal balance in the amount of consumed information, sorting, and, most importantly, eliminating certain sources based on their quality.

Photo by JJ Ying