Zoomed out: Most Americans are tired of chatting with people over video during COVID-19

NEW YORK — Although technology is helping keep everyone connected while living in isolation, it seems most people are sick and tired of looking at their friends, family, and co-workers through a video screen. A new survey finds six in 10 Americans are currently “Zoomed out” as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The OnePoll survey of 2,000 respondents reveals 61 percent have experienced tech fatigue during the ongoing pandemic. Of that group, 69 percent say their burnout is specifically due to all the time they’re spending on video calls.

digital fatigue COVID

Commissioned by Vthrive The Vitamin Shoppe CBD, the survey delved into tech fatigue, which the researchers define as a feeling of exhaustion after using digital apps and tools. The poll also looked at how respondents are handling their technological discontent during 2020.

The average respondent first started to experience tech fatigue about 12 weeks into the pandemic. Of those experiencing tech fatigue, 52 percent say it’s been a consistent feeling. That’s perhaps not surprising considering how much time people have been spending on their devices since the start of COVID-19.

According to the results, the average respondent spends an additional two hours and four minutes per day looking at a screen.

All this video chatting making people want to unplug entirely

All of this time online is making more and more respondents want to disconnect. Over half the poll (52%) wouldn’t mind an opportunity to go off the grid due to COVID-19. Of those, the average respondent would like about eight hours each day where they could be totally tech-free.

That’s not the only effect it’s having on respondents, though. Two in three Americans (68%) experiencing tech fatigue admit it has increased their worries during this hectic time.

“We have seen a number of compelling wellness trends evolve from the pandemic and resultant tech fatigue, including a great interest in CBD, as consumers seek out innovative new forms of support for balance. I was particularly interested that this survey revealed that 51 percent of people want to learn more about CBD,” says Sharon Leite, CEO of The Vitamin Shoppe, in a statement.

digital fatigue COVID

The survey also examines the ways in which respondents might unwind from digital burnout and other quarantine struggles. Sixty-seven percent feel the pandemic has limited the ways they usually unwind or find balance in their lives. Typically, some of the most popular ways of maintaining well-being include spending time with loved ones (51%), exercising (41%), and watching movies or TV (38%). However, with the disruptions of the pandemic, 56 percent of people have sought out new ways to find or maintain balance while in isolation.

Turning to marijuana’s increasingly popular ingredient

Some are turning to new sources of relief, such as CBD. Of the 44 percent of Americans who have used CBD before, almost half (48%) say they tried it for the first time during COVID-19. Of the respondents who continually use CBD, seven in 10 agree it’s helped them to maintain a sense of balance and well-being during the ongoing pandemic.

“CBD is one of our fastest-growing health and wellness categories at The Vitamin Shoppe and we see strong consumer interest in learning how to incorporate it into a balanced lifestyle. This interest has only increased as people seek out solutions for pandemic fatigue, tech fatigue and quarantine fatigue,” Leite explains.