Information Overload

Information Overload

Throughout history, all generations have at some time thought that they have reached the peak of information overload. Indeed information overload is a recurring problem that is also known as infoxication or infobesity. It refers to the availability of information in amounts that exceed the required threshold to solve a problem. Quite often, the emergence of information overload is directly attributed to a reduction in the quality of decision made. Today, the problem is an increasing menace both at the workplace and in the general livelihoods. It occurs when one is trying to deal with more information than the available capacity to make logical decisions (Joy, 2000). The effects of information overload result in either a wrong decision or a delayed decision-making process. For instance, today’s average person receives emails and incoming messages in excess of their handling capacity. Consequently, the management of this information at fairly comprehensible levels is quite challenging thus resulting in information overload. That notwithstanding, the causes of information overload are easily identified and the solutions achievable.

Although the term has been in existence for several decades, it has never been as real as it is today. The term was famously used in a 1970 book by Alvin Toffler in the prediction of the looming problem caused by vast amounts of information. The phenomenon was predicted to be problematic to the general public as their capacity to manage information in large quantities was not enhanced. There is a general misconception that the current generation is the only one that has been exposed to huge amounts of information due to the assertion of living in an information age. However, written information has been used in the past thousands of years to make decisions. The invention of the printing press in the twentieth century enabled the mass distribution of information to hordes of people. This did not necessarily result in a phenomenon of information overload as most people were not reached. The advent of the modern computer has however increased the creation, access and duplication of available information to multitudes of pe

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