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Infoxication: how to combat information overload

Infoxication: how to combat information overload

July 18, 2024

The infoxication is a phenomenon that arises from the inclusion of new technologies in our day to day , in which the amount of information we receive saturates us and exceeds us. We receive a lot of information, but this is not always of quality nor do we get to deepen it.

In this article, the Psychological and Psychological Assistance Institute Mensalus talks about an interesting topic: the management of information excess.

Information overdose

Can excess information be psychologically depleted?

Excess information of any kind can generate stress and have consequences at the functional level. Especially, with the arrival of new technologies, making a "click" offers the possibility of being in permanent connection with information.

The immediacy with which we access any type of source opens the doors to an infinite dimension. Each movement leads to a different virtual space, there is always a possibility to explore. The world changes constantly. In a second something starts and something ends. The big question is: how far do we want to be informed?

And, how far do we inform ourselves? Being hyperconnected, yes, can exhaust us psychologically. In addition, the feeling of accumulating more and more messages to answer, more links to consult, more conversations to participate, can generate a sensation of authentic mental saturation.

¿ What else has the "click" changed?

"The click revolution" as some people call it, without realizing it, has changed the way we relate and see the world. We live in a different reality, we have much more instant information (the latest in fugacity: the Smartwatch) and, therefore, it is important to learn how to manage it.

This is neither good nor bad, it is different. When we talk about good management we highlight the difference between being informed and informing ourselves of what we need. In the West there is an archirected and extrapolated belief in different areas: the "the more, the better". In the case of information (as in many others) we could discuss it at length.

Why do we live hooked to new technologies?

So, really, do we need so much information?

The need is created and disappears, our society does it constantly. What at one moment may seem important, then ceases to be important. Meeting the needs of the moment and establishing an order of priorities is already a way to screen and manage the messages that reach us.

By nature, we always want to obtain more information even if we can not always retain it and digest it. Perhaps, there is the limit: when the amount of information generates a high level of stress that prevents me from even concentrating on aspects of my daily life, relaxing my mind, being present and enjoying the here and now ....

Am I absorbing too much information? Answer this question:

  • Do I need to deal with such a large number of messages?
  • Can I say no?
  • I want to do it?

Actually we have the power to decide what information we want and what we do not.

What exactly is infoxication?

The infoxication is a term that refers to the excess of information and that is related to the fact of being in permanent activation. This reality can generate inability to stop and deepen (as the saying goes: "who covers a lot, little squeezes").

There is an interesting concept to define the functioning of the infoxicated person: the "working interruptus", that is, the individual who opens many topics but most remain half. In the end, the "touch so many keys" is what generates a high level of stress before the impossibility of responding to all of them.

Symptoms and problems

In summary, when could we say that a person is infoxicated?

When he feels he can not handle all the information he thinks he should and this generates anxiety and other psychological and physical consequences such as lack of concentration, discouragement, apathy, muscle tension and fatigue.

A habitual attitude in the person is infoxicada inability to read a text slowly (the famous diagonal readings) and / or read without understanding. In these cases, comments such as "I do not remember what I have read" are representative of the lack of attention during reading. In fact, many times the person has made a totally distracted reading without intending to delve into its content, solely for the purpose of "cross out" the information as "attended".This happens especially with the management of e-mails (infoxicados individuals are usual to have the inbox full of pending "envelopes").

How can we make good information management?

For example, looking at quality instead of quantity. As we said, being all day connected to a multitude of sources can confuse and generate distress.

Likewise, getting in touch with the needs of each moment helps us to decide what priority we give to the information. What is useful in a vital moment (for example, "I enjoy being in different social networks and participating in different groups and forums") may change ("I have been particularly busy at work for a few weeks and it is an effort to participate with the same frequency ").

People function by habits, but this does not mean that we can not question their meaning and consider a change. The automatisms, sometimes, make it difficult for us to "let go" and put limits on what we no longer wish to cover. On the other hand, our state of mind also tells us when we need a change. Being attentive to how we feel and the meaning behind the emotion is a way to curb the urge to absorb more information.

Recovering the "here and now"

It's funny how, many times, we are not aware of the amount of information we manage daily, the impact it has on us (how it makes us feel) and, most importantly, whether we want to take it or not. What tools can we train to be more aware of our needs and our emotional world?

There are many techniques and exercises aimed at being physically and mentally present in the "here and now" through the detection of thoughts and emotions.

To connect with our needs, in the first place, we have to learn to stop and feel the present moment. A good exercise is to enjoy deep breathing while you look at what happens around us without being forced to respond.

It is revealing when we are especially accelerated and we experience the sensation that the state of contemplation, at times, generates in us. Understanding that we can stop makes us more free and permissive people with ourselves and others ...


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