Clifford Nass, a Stanford professor whose pioneering research into how humans interact with technology found that the increasingly screen-saturated, multitasking modern world was not nurturing the ability to concentrate, analyze or feel empathy, died on Saturday near Lake Tahoe. He was 55.
In a YouTube clip from one of Steve Jobs’s last interviews, he appears to be enjoying reminiscing about how he first hit upon the idea for the keyboardless tablet that eventually became the iPad.
“I had this idea of being able to get rid of the keyboard, type on a multitouch glass display and I asked our folks, could we come up with a multitouch display that I could type on, I could rest my hands on and actually type on,” Mr. Jobs says, smiling slightly as he recounts his enthusiasm at seeing the first prototype. “It was amazing.”
If you think you are being bombarded by information now, just wait.
The term “Information overload,” sometimes called, “infobesity,” is a term that came into everyday use in the 1970s. It refers to our inability to absorb and process all the information to which we are exposed.
As a writer for the web, I’m well acquainted with information overload. One bit of information leads to five facts, which leads to three articles, which leads to an interesting interview you must listen to right now, which leads to 10 pages in your browser.
I’ve always loved the scavenger hunt research requires. Every clue leads to another. Every clue uncovered is a prize in itself: learning something new and interesting and getting one step closer to the carrot (such as the answer to your original question). But there’s always one more thing to look up, learn and digest.
Pop quiz: Which of these statements is false?
1. We use only 10% of our brain.
2. Environments rich in stimuli improve the brains of preschool children.
3. Individuals learn better when they receive information in their preferred learning style, whether auditory, visual or kinesthetic. (more…)
If time loss is the most obvious way that Information Overload affects organizational effectiveness, the destruction of mental acuity is the least obvious one. It is also probably the worst, in terms of actual damage to the bottom line. What we’re talking about here is a reduction in a wide range of mental capacities, all of them highly relevant to the performance of knowledge work.
For all the benefits of the information technology and communications revolution, it has a well-known dark side: information overload and its close cousin, attention fragmentation.
These scourges hit CEOs and their colleagues in the C-suite particularly hard because senior executives so badly need uninterrupted time to synthesize information from many different sources, reflect on its implications for the organization, apply judgment, make trade-offs, and arrive at good decisions.
Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer volume of online content? You’re not alone. Keeping up to speed can be nearly impossible these days, with potentially hundreds or even thousands of daily postings competing for your attention from services like Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feeds.
Jose Huitron had just hit the digital wall. Toggling between Facebook, Google, Twitter and a handful of other online communities, he found it hard to keep up with a constant barrage of tweets, texts and instant messages.