This is an Information age marked by unprecedented rise of Internet, Social Media, Apps, Blogs, emails, Video streaming, Aggregating websites etc. If you happen to be regularly connected to the Internet, you can very well understand – how too much information can get to the head fast. Even modern conveniences like cellphone due to spam calls and promotional SMS can add to the stress.
So what Information Overload means, how it can cause stress and misinformation?
Information overload is a term used by Alvin Toffler in his book Future shock.Information overload happens when input to a system exceeds its processing capacity.
In the current age of Social media, apps, Cellphones each one of us consume a huge amount of data. We also produce data in the form of tweets, SMS, emails, blogs, Facebook posts or posts in other social media websites. Due to the huge amount of data we may be unknowingly witnessing Information overload. The result is – stress, confusion, misinformation and spreading the wrong information.
Here are a few steps you can take to avoid suffering from Information Overload or overdose
Step#1) Follow a disciplined routine accessing modern conveniences like Cellphones, Devices, Internet. Make it a habit to stay away from these when you have other priorities.
Step#2) Categorize the feeds that you receive from different sources like Social media sites, blogs, News items in the order of their priority. Only mark the important ones as Priority 1. You can skim through the low priority items if time allows. Do avoid diving deep into the low priority items.
Step#3) Do ignore duplicate information at all cost. Due to the read-write nature of the Internet, once a major news breaks – hundreds and thousands of sources simultaneously copies it. It is meaningless to read through the whole stories again and again.
Step#5) Take your own time to relax, away from your monitor, cellphones and notebooks.
Step#6) If you are a producer of digital content, ensure you are original. Copying content won’t lead you anywhere; you would be at a greater risk of Information Overload though.
Step#7) Make a habit of classifying information and sources. Ignore the source that does you no good. It is very easy to fall prey to overdose of information due to social sites like Facebook and twitter. Ask yourself – Do you really need to go through each of the 1000 status updates early in the morning.
Step#8) Unsubscribe from email sources, which are not needed any more. If you don’t find a way to do this, mark the email items as spams.
Step#9) Learn how to politely say “No” to spam calls from marketing agencies. You cannot afford to be modest and deal with the daily barrage of marketing calls.
Step#10) Do not accept strangers into your social media circles in Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google Plus etc. It would always be difficult to manage a huge network and consume updates from a big circle.