What is information overload? 27 instant messages. 4 text messages. 17 phone calls. 98 work emails. 52 personal emails. 76 email listserv messages. 14 social network messages. 127 social network status updates. 825 RSS feed updates. 30 pages from a book. 5 letters. 11 pieces of junk mail. 1 periodical issue. 3 hours of radio. 1 hour of television. That, my friends, is information overload.
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.
Information overload is affecting more and more of us, as we register for yet more websites which promise to change our working life/give us more time with our families/do our jobs for us. No one tool can ever live up to such grandiose promises, no matter which tech luminary is endorsing the next big thing, but you can definitely save yourself some running around circles with a bit of savvy attention to detail and some initial time investment.
AUSTRALIA is one of the top 20 most well-connected internet using nations in the world, and ranks in the top 10 for use of social-networking websites. Of every 10 Australians, three have a Facebook profile, more than two use Twitter and one logs on to MySpace.
CIO Jeff Saper drives a hybrid car, favors service providers that use alternative energy and has launched many green IT initiatives at his strategic communications firm, Robinson Lerer & Montgomery LLC in New York. But he’s also concerned about a type of pollution that even Al Gore has yet to tackle: digital pollution.
The recent growth of information sources such as blogs, social networks, news aggregators, microblogs like Twitter, instant messaging and e-mail has been exponential. And with broadband penetration among active Internet users expected to break 90% this year, according to Internet marketing firm Website Optimization LLC, there aren’t many people today who haven’t experienced some form of information overload.
I gave a presentation this week on decision-making, and someone in the audience asked me if I thought information overload was an impediment to effective decision-making. “Information overload…yes, I remember that concept. But no one cares about it anymore,” I replied. In fact, nobody ever did.
But why not? We’ve been reading articles in the press about information overload being the bane of productivity for almost twenty years