Information overload refers to the consumption of information in quantities that exceed the normal or recommended standards which normally leads to difficulty in comprehension and decision making.
It may be difficult to gauge the average amount of information an individual is supposed to take in within a given period. But it is obvious that every human has their own average capacity in as far as information intake is a concern.
There is no single cause of information overload.
This phenomenon can be attributed to many factors that revolve around the passion of learning new things, technological evolution, competitions in the social and academic spheres and our quest to know about new things as well as diversify our choices.
As we move towards the new age of globalization, more and more people are shifting to using the internet to carry out their personal researches. In addition, everyone has been given the ability to generate and consume data on the ever-increasing number of websites.
Internet users are now designated as active consumers since more and more people are now taking part in digital and information revolution. Reading and viewing of online content are no doubt going to increase exponentially in the coming years.
Many people are being perceived as active viewers and writers due to their participation in browsing, reading, writing and editing online materials. This flow has resulted in a new trend in which most people are facing the danger of being entirely dependent on the internet as our main source of information.
The access is instant, convenient, diverse and potentially harmful. In most cases, we simply use information without knowing its validity and the danger of misinformation.
The Pros and Cons of Information Overload
Too little information is always bad for both companies and individuals. However, overconsumption of information has its benefits and limitations. In the sections that follow, I have discussed the pros and cons of information overload:
Advantages of Information Overload
The world is fast changing and so is everything inside it. Good and new information is always important for the development of different sectors of the economy.
A lot of information enables comparison between different product designs, education systems and technological developments.
When we have large pool information, we will be able to weigh which ones are better for our use while at the same time discard the ones that we feel are irrelevant or less important.
The custom writing industry is benefitting a lot from information overload.
Writing companies are hiring writers who can write papers in different fields. The information required in customers’ orders can easily be accessed and downloaded online. Clients, who are mainly students only need to forward their assignment instructions to a custom service provider and then pay just a little money to have their work done. Writers at the essay writing service will write everything from scratch and even edit to research essay help
In the coming days, we are likely going to experience an expansive movement in mobile technologies as a communication hub for enterprises intending to market their products and services. Or even newspapers and other media houses reaching out to consumers with mobile gadgets for breaking news and story updates.
At the time, there is an information gap for older people who do not own cell phones. However, very soon almost every person will have a mobile phone.
The US is still behind in mobile devices tech, but countries like Japan and China have excelled in the production and research of more capable and durable mobile phones.
As such, if companies that are still struggling with mobile technology positively embrace information overload, it is possible that they will be able to compare and sample out information that is highly effective in the telecommunication industry.
In the coming days, mobile gadgets are going to be the largest part of Web 4.0, and more sites will become compatible with cell phones. Most mobile gadgets will allow users to access internet easily. Marketing organizations will have the means of reaching consumers almost instantaneously through the use of social media, e-mail newsletters and text messaging alerts.
Disadvantages of Information Overload
Too much information about an issue inhibits the ability to focus appropriately on the most significant concepts and messages.
Individuals encountering information overload may try to adapt by delaying responses to texts they feel are less important or through ignoring others. They will also resort to answering a section of messages or by giving inaccurate responses in their answers.
In other instances, you may find that people undergoing information overload may take less time to respond to each message while at the same time giving superficial reactions to all messages and questions.
Individuals exposed to too much information risk suffering stress-related disease.
They might become unproductive and develop the habit of making poor decisions.
Such people ignore huge quantities of information, turn to being quite selective, give up easily and have a tendency of failing to try a little harder. They also make mistakes easily, require extra time to make a decision, and waste time. In addition, they have problems in establishing the connection between overall perspectives and the details of a situation.
Information overload afflicts and affects the knowledge of individual workers.
Most of them struggle to perform their tasks while at the same time drowning in an ocean of information. In the end, customer care and productivity seriously fail.
The diversity of information at the moment comes at a cost. Nonetheless, it is a hidden cost that is imposed on organizations.
Studies indicate that workers take long to return to their workstations after email or social media interruptions. The lost time while handling unnecessary emails and attending to other interruptions costs organizations a significant amount of money.
How Information Overload Will Influence Humanity in The Future
The quantity of information is ever increasing as a result of an overall increase in corporate communication. Both within and outside the company as well as an increase in deregulation and globalization trends.
In case the current trends associated with information overload are not checked, the disadvantages highlighted above are bound to heighten.
The cost of doing business and time wastage will also increase. Workers will spend a significant amount of time searching for information due to information anxiety. Decisions will always be delayed, and managers are more likely to suffer from analysis paralysis.
Most US managers confess that they deal with the side effects of stress because of too much information.
Most people can no longer develop personal tactics to manage data and information. The human cost will continue to increase, and the number of people suffering from information overload stress will keep increasing.
Moreover, national differences are more likely to increase since some countries are getting more unsolicited information than others.