Born Digital: 8. OVERLOAD

8. Overload


“I think the reason why print magazines are still very popular is because you kind of have the feeling, okay, this is like one issue, and this is what happened this week. And on the internet . . . there’s no beginning and no end.”

– Harvard student, 18 years old


          Facts from the text 

  • 161 Billion Gigabytes of digital content were created, stored, and replicated around the world.-> 3 million times the amount of all books ever written
  • Every year, the amount of digital information grows even more rapidly than in the year before.
  • A person’s short-term memory can hold roughly seven items at once.
  • “Enormous gap” between the growing sea of information and limited human attention and information-processing.
  •  There is no single, reliable, global study that proves that a certain percentage of children and teenagers are, in fact „addicted“ to the internet



  • Psychological disease of the digital age
  • The constant use of digital technologies can place a strain on families and friendship
  • Internet addiction




  • Health and mental well being of children
  • addiction
  • decrease one’s appetite
  • cause insomnia
  • suppress immune functions
  • lowers the level of motivation
  • reduces attention spans



  • highly relevant information
  • diversity of sources
  • no gatekeeper




         “Is less more? The cure for information overload”




  • “The less I speak, the more people want”


  • “The more information, the better”




          Reasons for the use of the Internet

  • Difficult to stay away from it
  • Escape problems or relieve negative moods
  • Self-expression
  • „second-life-feeling“



           Information selection

We ignore certain information because of…

  • it’s source
  • It’s form
  • It’s apparent contents
  • Strong personal preferences
  • A limit of websites we use


          How does the filtering work?

  • fourth grader:
    1. Choose material
    2. Chunk“ large amounts of information
    3. Compress the large chunk of information or enlarge it
  • eighth grader:
    1. Omit material
    2. Filter
    3. Chunk the information


         -> eighth graders paved much more able than fourth graders to separate information
         -> some information will be lost
         -> we need to process the information to tell if its relevant or important




  • user based categorization
  • Keywords that are associated with a piece of information
  • „creating a label for online content
  • Is expected to help prevent and/ or manage information-overload situations in the future




  • Education
  • Parents and teachers
  • Awareness
  • Focus on one thing at a time instead of doing serval things at once -> priorities
  • The credo of the past „the more information the better“ needs to be supplemented



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *