Information Overload

The potential for “Information Overload” exists for everyone, regardless of how many, or which, social networking tools they use.

I have been avoiding the use of the newest and most popular tools  (e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, etc.) in an attempt to keep my influx of information at a minimum.  After all, why should I add yet another means for information to move in my direction?  If I need information about something, I can go and get it.  I suppose I have been, unknowingly, filtering the information that comes to me, so as to not get overloaded by it.  I have implemented this filter by keeping the number of channels, through which information flows to me, minimized.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this is necessarily the best or the right thing to do, it’s just what I have been doing.
The notion of “information overload” is nothing new.  As Brian Solis writes in his blog: The fallacy of information overload, “This isn’t a new phenomenon by any means. The sensation of being overwhelmed by information has been linked to every media revolution“.  The problem is not that there is  too much information, but rather, the problem is in one’s ability to filter out the static!  Solis goes on to state that while information overload is not new, “The number of channels we’re expected to engage with is“.  So now there are 1000 channels to watch on TV, do we really feel like we have to watch them all?  Of course not, we filter out the static.  Furthermore, There is no reason that having new channels should produce the phenomenon called “channel panic“.  We should simply be filtering out the channels that are just static.  James Mullan writes in his blog, “…we need to create a new set of rules or governance policy for ourselves in relation to social media“.  I would say it’s not so much that we need a new set of rules is so much as we need to extend our existing rules.


Every one of us must learn how to manage their time efficiently and how to prioritize tasks appropriately.  This is a work-in-progress for each of us, and is at least somewhat unique for each of us, as we all have different priorities. The ways in which we manage “Information Overload” as it pertains to social media are really no different than the ways in which we manage “Information Overload” in our “off-line” lives.

One thought on “Information Overload

  1. You’ve made a really good point here: information overload really didn’t start with social media when you think about it. I mean, my parents subscribe to about 800 cable channels while I have basic cable at my modest home. But when I make the drive up north to visit them, the number of choices of things to watch is really overwhelming! Not to mention that Ma’s got the DVR and records about 28,000 movies that “we absolutely have to watch together!” On the other hand, she wants absolutely no part of “the Twitter” because “it’s redundant.” As if having 12 different HBO channels isn’t? It’s all the same idea, we’ve just compartmentalized it in different shiny boxes.

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