Mindfulness

What Is Information Overload?

Information can be a double-edged sword in many instances. It can be great up to a certain point but sometimes there’s a point of no return when it is being fed to you in unhealthy quantities (Especially if it’s useless).

We as a society have to endure the constant supply of this information and it becomes overload when the focus is the opposite of quality information.

How It’s Damaging To Our Health

There is good information and there is bad information. Many of us become overwhelmed by this information as we try to digest it all. It’s hard enough trying to digest any information, let alone differentiate whether it’s accurate vs inaccurate.

Now, information is not a bad thing and neither is a bunch of it! …  In fact, a study from the Pew Research Center found that most Americans are thankful for the abundance of information that we have all around us!

Now too much of something can be detrimental in some way or the other (It just is)! With the constant pressure to “be involved” and “connected” it’s no wonder why people get stressed out and feel inadequate when they are not able to keep up.

Social media and technology are big contributors to information overload. Earl Miller, a neuroscientist at MIT, says, “Our brains are not made to multitask well”. We just kind of become more unproductive as a result of too much stimuli and not enough ability to focus.

Are We Really Learning?

With all this information at our fingertips; are we really learning anything? Or are we setting ourselves up for failure?

Well, a New York Times poll resulted in 30 percent of people under the age of 45, admitting that the use of electronic devices made it harder to concentrate.

It’s a disappointing statistic but a lack of concentration is something you don’t want to happen, especially if it becomes a habit.

Smartphones and computers are a distraction if usage is not monitored and limited but with the latest and greatest, it’s easier said than done!

How Is Our Youth Being Affected?

Our future…. The youth of today must lead the way (Eventually) but are they being overloaded with too much? Possibly… and the fear is that more and more information is being pushed and forced into people’s brains, resulting in the lack of ability to make decisions.

This is a scary thought and unfortunately, this overload of information may not be aligned with the best interest of human beings in general.

Researcher Clifford Nass says, “Cognitive performance declines when people try to pay attention to many media channels at once.” This is because our brains don’t have enough time to retain quality information, as it’s always trying to learn something new.

The decrease in attention span seems to be an obvious side effect to multitasking to frequently, especially toward empty, useless information.

How can we lessen this abundance of Information Overload?

In an age where more and more information is being stuffed down our brains at an alarming rate, is there an end in sight? Sadly, eliminating the over-stimulus may be too much to ask for but there are ways to decrease its negative impact on us as a whole.

  • Limiting your exposure to any forms of media
  • Restricting the use of technology by children and implementing more productive activities
  • Try to realize what makes you happy and know that you can experience more of it by developing better habits (restricting excessive information)

It’s a work in progress but you can become happier and more productive by limiting your exposure to information overload.

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