Information Overload Becoming a Pet Peeve

September 27, 2012

It appears that a large percentage of the online community is suffering from information overload. Intel Corporation recently commissioned a survey using 7,087 adults and 1,787 teenagers as study cases. Essentially, what resulted was the fact that the majority of these online users feel overwhelmed by the amount of information that’s being made available to them. They’re also not entirely comfortable with the level of content and subject matter that’s constantly being put in front of their faces.

At DStv Online, we understand the digital dynamics of the online world and we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that what is shared on the Internet is very difficult to remove. Our team is constantly aware of what we share and how we share it, as well as how that content will affect the readers who absorb it. The thing is, not many online users take the same precautions or follow the same thought processes.


The numbers speak for themselves

Of the 8,874 people questioned across eight countries, approximately 60% revealed that there is far too much being divulged online, including profanity, inappropriate photographs and content, opinions that are unwelcome and – our favourite – the brain-draining details about what people have for lunch, how they couldn’t sleep or why they think tea tastes better with honey as opposed to sugar.

In terms of being considerate to others, 90% said they wished people would be more attentive to how others perceive their content. They want online users to be more aware of how their content affects others and to keep this in mind when posting profane, inappropriate material.


Honesty is the best policy… sometimes

One of the most interesting statistics gained from this survey was the number of people who actually “fake it to make it” via their online personalities. 55% of adults in Japan said they had projected a different online personality to their authentic selves. In the USA, 19% said the same thing. Escapism might be the reason behind this, or perhaps it’s just a feeling of inadequacy and the need to be more than what people expect?


Cultural differences

There are different peeves per country, but what’s interesting to note is how culture and traditional beliefs affect what bugs them the most. For Australians, the most annoying overshare comes from the boring details of people’s personal lives – the “what I ate for lunch” bits of information. Americans don’t appreciate the constant complaints, while Indonesians are very opposed to profane language.

I think wherever you come from, there is a limit to how much you can absorb and how much you want to take in, but it’s unlikely that the amount of information being served is going to decrease. What are your thoughts on overshare and information overload? How do you feel about the information that’s coming your way every day?




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