Advice on Dealing With Information Overload

Posted by Matt Schwartz on Fri, Jan 24, 2020 @ 11:01 AM

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This probably isn't the first article or social media post you’ve read today. According to a Huffington Post article, a 2015 poll showed workers report spending as many as 6.3 hours each day just checking emails. And in 2016, Facebook reported its users spent an average of 50 minutes every day on its site.

Those numbers may seem overwhelming, but Americans actually reported feeling less overloaded by the amount of information coming their way this year than they did a decade ago, according to the latest Pew Research Center data.

Approximately twenty percent of people reported feeling overwhelmed by “information overload” in a recent Pew survey, compared with twenty-seven percent reporting the same thing in a 2006 survey. 

What’s more, the number of people who report they like having so much information at their fingertips is actually up. Recently, seventy-seven percent of people reported that they liked having access to that much information, compared to sixty-seven percent of people in 2006.

"Even though there are greater flows of information flying around, we think the fact that people have more tools now to deal with it is helping them manage,” the report’s author John Horrigan, a senior researcher at Pew, told The Guardian

The Pew data included survey responses collected from 1,520 Americans eighteen and older.

If you wish to feel less inundated by the constant stream of content coming your way from social media, email, TV and other sources, here are suggestions from readers surveyed by The Huffington Post

1. Skip the Alerts

“I’ve disabled my social media and email app alerts. I only log in when I have spare time [versus] every moment my phone dings. It helps you stay centered and on task.” ― Brandi G.

2. Personalize Your Feeds

“I make personal news feeds so I can choose exactly what kind of posts I want to see pop up on my page. I have ‘High School friends,’ ‘Politics,’ ‘Local Photographers,’ ‘News and Weather’ and other feeds so I can ignore crazies when need be.” ― Donna W.

3. Log Off

“I log off for a week once a month and read, paint and cook instead.” ― Tashika S.

4. Prioritize

“The secret is to scroll on by ― some people’s postings are not personal and some news [is] sensationalized and written with an agenda. Scroll on by and filter and prioritize.” ― Bevon B.

5. Read Books

“I read a book on my Kindle for Mac to break up the [Facebook] madness. Works for me.” ― Ralph G.

“I go back to reading my book to clear my mind.” ― Frances Q. 

6. Unfollow and Unsubscribe  

“I clear email subscriptions at least once a week. On social media, I skim and regularly clear out pages posting excessive clickbait, sensationalist/outrageous fake news or articles. I actively seek out three to four news sites ― and unfollow personal feeds that work my nerves.” ― Nikole H. 

7. Let It Go 

“Sometimes you just have to stop and take a breath. Let it go. I like to put feeds into categories. Family comes first.” ― Laura L. 

8. Clean House 

“I used to have over 900 friends and well over 1,500 ‘liked’ pages. I got too involved in everything and felt like I was losing myself. I spent almost four hours unfriending and unliking things. It feels so much better to only see my close family and friends’ items.” ― Sharon T.

Hopefully by following the above advice, you will have no problem staying in control on the Information Highway. 

Topics: Worksite Wellness, Employee Engagement