Navigating information overload in the digital age

Understanding the consequences of being bombarded with too much information

Apr 5, 2024

information overload
information overload

How much information is too much information? In today's day and age, we have reached a point where we have too much sensory input. A WhatsApp message here, an Instagram comment there, and a new article on Pinterest showcasing the latest fashion trends. Before you know it, an hour has gone by going through each of them. This problem is not just limited to smartphones, laptops, or TV screens. We now have loads of so-called smart devices like smartwatches, activity trackers, and nowadays, even smart shoes. They provide you with tons of information that fill up your notification tab. But all that is a good thing, right?

The Illusion of Information: Understanding Cognitive Limits

That is where we are all wrong. There is only a certain amount of information that our brains can deal with at a time before getting overwhelmed. After we hit this peak, any additional information that we receive fails to make an impact on the decisions we make. Most of the time, we forget all of it. At other times it confuses us. So thinking back, was all the step count, sleep data, and heart-rate worth the extra hundred dollars you paid for that shiny new smartwatch?

The Psychological Toll: The Impact of Information Overload

The problem with today's generation is that we are used to having too much information. A few years back, we used to get by just fine without worrying about what our followers thought. So why is it suddenly so important to seek their approval? All of this affects us at a psychological level. Studies show that an average person leaves social media 30% sadder after a browsing session of 20 minutes. We are to blame for this; our increasing need for attention has also altered how we present ourselves on social media. Instagram is now about fake candids and party filters aimed at impressing rather than expressing oneself. I'm not saying all of this socialising is bad. On the contrary, they are essential tools that provide valuable information. Just wanted to give you a head's up that you have a life outside these so-called social media platforms. So next time, think twice before you buy the latest gadget or install the most popular app.