Data overload perspectivesJune 21st, 2018
With the never-ending internet access of all of your mobile devices and various gadgets, IoT devices as well as social media, emails, messengers and so on – the amount of information we are processing for 24 just hours is overwhelming.
Never before in the history of the world have people been bombarded with so much data as we are today.
Think about it, according to estimations today we are processing five times more data than we did 25 years ago, and we are capable of processing about 34GB of information a day which is as much as the people living in the 15th century would for their entire lifetimes.
The data we process daily is not just a bunch of digits, but it includes emotions as well. For example, if you weigh yourself on a smart scale at home, the data collected by the scale is collected and stored in the cloud, only to be reported back to in various forms and times. Yet, probably the biggest impact on you is the number which you see directly on the scale when you step on it.
The thing is, that we are getting all kind of information pushed at us even if we are not necessarily requiring it. Just think about how many reminders and notifications regarding the news, social media events, sports scores, weather forecasts and others you receive on a daily basis.
How the information overload affects us
No matter how much we are used to this data overload, we are definitely affected by it. News which affects us, data regarding our financial situation or health, as well as sports, social and other events all put an emotional toll on us as human beings. We get excited, disappointed or otherwise affected by all the incoming information, which can lead to a number of wrong decisions taken on the spur of the moment.
This type of information fatigue syndrome can cause stress-induced anxiety and related health problems, problems with job productivity and can affect personal relationships too.
Experts share their worries about data overload from multitasking causing anxiety and stress, being unable to focus, limited creativity and lowered productivity.
So what can be done to curb the burden of all that data
Experts are saying that by using dashboard type apps and interfaces on our mobile devices, where we can get a full overview of the data, rather than bits and pieces of it in a random manner can help us make much more rational assessments of the input data.
The holistic picture which dashboards provide can save us from making spontaneous and wrong decisions and can prevent overreactions, as well as so-called cognitive overload causing us to feel fatigued, unable to concentrate and stressed.
Also, Internet and tech giants are working on creating filters to manage the data input properly and to filter out any unnecessary information from our daily load. Google’s personalized search is one such example.
More people are choosing to use filtering extensions and apps to limit the notifications, and to limit the access to particularly distracting websites and information sources, such as social media too.
Businesses are working on improving the productivity of their employees by finding ways to filter out the noise, let them find time to focus as well as the ability to take a break and forget about work from time to time.
All of these counter-measures may help us retain our sanity and wellbeing in the crazy world of information overload.
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