Trying to be a functional human being in 2020 can feel exhausting. Our devices send us constant notifications, social media demands all our attention, and even simple daily tasks start to feel Sisyphean when they pile up. In many ways, the same technology that was supposed to make our lives easier and more efficient has led to a mental health crisis that shows no signs of abating: widespread burnout.

This week on Gadget Lab, we talk with Anne Helen Petersen, author of the book Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation, about the ways that tech has driven many people to the breaking point. Also, we’ve got some tips on how to prevent burnout and cut yourself some slack.

Show Notes

You can find Anne Helen Petersen’s book here and read an excerpt about how work became an inescapable hellhole in WIRED here. Subscribe to Anne’s newsletter here.

Recommendations

Anne recommends the show Pen15 on Hulu. Lauren recommends WIRED’s 2020 election coverage, in particular this story about the battle over voting machines in Texas. Mike recommends practicing Qigong to help your peace of mind, starting with this video teaching Qigong for beginners.

Anne Helen Petersen can be found on Twitter @annehelen. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our executive producer is Alex Kapelman (@alexkapelman). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.

If you have feedback about the show, or just want to enter to win a $50 gift card, take our brief listener survey here.

How to Listen

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