Information Overload

Topics: Alvin Toffler, Brain, Mind Pages: 2 (738 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Understanding Information Overload
Information Overload is an increasing problem both in the workplace, and in life in general. Those that learn to deal with it effectively will have a major advantage in the next few years. Information Overload is when you are trying to deal with more information than you are able to process to make sensible decisions. The result is either that you either delay making decisions, or that you make the wrong decisions. It is now commonplace to be getting too many e-mails, reports and incoming messages to deal with them effectively. The Information Overload Age

The first recorded use of the phrase “information overload” was used by the futurologist Alvin Toffler in 1970, when he predicted that the rapidly increasing amounts of information being produced would eventually cause people problems. Although people talk about “living in the information age,” written information has been used for thousands of years. The invention of the Printing Press a few hundred years ago made it possible to distribute written information to large amounts of people. However, it is only with the advent of modern computers that the ability to create, duplicate and access vast amounts of information has created Information Overload amongst the general population. The root of the problem is that, although computer processing and memory is increasing all the time, the humans that must use the information are not getting any faster. Effectively, the human mind acts as a bottleneck in the process. Not “Sensory Overload”

Information Overload needs to be differentiated from “Sensory Overload.” This is when your mind is bombarded with images, sounds and sensations that overload the brain. The brain can actually handle tens of millions of signals from our senses every second. Think of the number of light sensors within the eye, and equate this to the resolution of a digital camera (and the corresponding file size of the photos it produces). Then include the...
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