Information Overload?

Today’s society finds itself enveloped in a whirlwind of technology.   Virtually everything is now  done electronically, from socializing to working and everything in between.  The number of devices in an average household is likely staggering.  I know that in my life, I regularly get grief from my wife for working on my laptop while my iPhone and iPad sit on either side of me.  Vacation is no longer vacation…with devices like the iPhone most of someone’s work can be done in the palm of your hand, no matter where you are.  At the very least, we are able to keep up with our email on the go.

So how much is too much?  The narrative begs for organizational management to keep up with the times.  The writer claims that while every thing around it is changing, leadership practices seem to almost be stuck in the mud.  It seems that a fear of “information overload” exists across the board.  But what exactly is information overload?  An article by Andrew Nucsa written back in 2011 points out that it is not the fault of technology if we feel overloaded.  Rather, it is our own fault.  Do we not choose how much we will partake in technology on a given day and how much information we will consume?  The article compares it to obesity.  Nobody says an obese person suffers from “food overload”.  Rather, it is that person’s choice to consume the food that he or she eats.  Likewise, we choose the technology we will consume, leading to the term mentioned in the article: “information over-consumption” (Nusca, 2011).  I completely agree with this frame of thought.  There need not be a fear of information overload, in leadership practices or elsewhere.  We control how much information we put out and take in.  If managed properly, we can seize the opportunity that our society presents today and use it to our advantage.  Let’s just be careful not to over-consume.

Mark Plaisier

Nusca, A. (2011, November 30). Information overload: you’re at fault, not technology | SmartPlanet. SmartPlanet – Innovative Ideas That        Impact Your World. Retrieved July 10, 2013, from http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/smart-takes/information-overload-youre-at-fault-not-technology/20688

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  1. Karen Trubia says:

    Mark, Thanks for that very thought provoking post. I tend to be on information overload and never really thought about how much I do have control over. Thanks for reminding me that I am accountable to how much information I take in and also how much information I send out. This is half the reason I like to go camping way out in the middle of nowhere, so there is no internet or cell service.. :) Karen

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