This article highlights that too much information can lead to information overload, which has been associated with anxiety, fatigue, and lack of action.
Information overload occurs when a person is inundated with too much relevant information, particularly when the information comes through a “homogenizing” lens of a web browser. This makes it difficult to differentiate reliable information from misinformation. Information overload leaves people feeling helpless and overwhelmed, which creates anxiety and fatigue. This leads to a paralysis of action, which can be dangerous during a pandemic. Contributing to information overload are “push” services that many mobile devices employ, which imposes information on people without them searching for it. All of this information overload can lead people to choose incorrect information to focus on or to avoid information completely. People turn to their easily accessible, and sometimes inaccurate, social media sources instead of reliable government, health or academic sources. Therefore, it is important that reliable sources have a strong social media presence.