In the modern “always on” world we live in, the speed of technological advancement means that we are bombarded with a huge amount of news, messaging, videos, advertisements and opinions from the moment we wake up to when we go to sleep. This can gradually become a heavy burden.
A study by Roger Bon and his fellow researchers at the University of California in San Diego, which has been reported in British broadsheet newspapers The Times and Daily Telegraph, suggests that people are on the receiving end of the equivalent amount of 34 Gb of information, an amount which would overload the average laptop within a week. The study was conducted a couple of years ago so this number is likely to have increased significantly since then.
The СOVID-19 pandemic has been dominating the media for weeks, creating a situation where the risk of drowning in information overload is even higher than normal.
This information overload is comparable to eating unhealthily, which can be harmful to our wellbeing. The difference is that eating unhealthily harms physical health, whereas excess information harms mental health.
What to do? How to deal with this information overload? The answer: in the same way as trying to change your diet and get healthy. Andrii Suslenko, Chief Communications Officer at Parimatch, shares 5 steps to help cope with an excess of information:
1. Give up fast food! Do not feed your brain with information spam. Choose only reliable sources and verified information. Enjoy high-quality products only.
2. Balance your diet! You should not focus only on the news from your region, politics, or economy. The world is much wider! Spice up your dish with international culture, innovation and sports.
3. Starve! Try and take time to isolate yourself from information. Stay alone with your thoughts. Silence is the best weapon in the fight against information overload. Do not worry that the world will collapse if you do not read the news for one day. Everything will be ok!
4. Challenge your critical thinking. Ask yourself the questions, “Why do I need this information? For what? Why do they want me to only read about this one topic?”
5. Do not eat raw! It takes time for quality reporting and insight to come to the fore. Wait 1-2 days and watch how spam is eliminated. After that, there will only be reliable and relevant sources of information. The news can often resemble a glass of muddy water, give it time, and the sediment will sink to the bottom.
Take care of your mental health, and do not overload yourself with unnecessary information!