Review: COVID-19 information overload leads to simple but unhelpful choices

Home/Review: COVID-19 information overload leads to simple but unhelpful choices

Review: COVID-19 information overload leads to simple but unhelpful choices

Review: COVID-19 information overload leads to simple but unhelpful choices

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.

|2020-06-11T08:05:03-04:00June 11th, 2020|COVID-19 Literature|0 Comments

About the Author: Maria Brann

Maria Brann
Dr. Maria Brann, PhD, MPH, is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI and affiliate faculty with the Injury Control Research Center at West Virginia University. She explores the integration of health, interpersonal, and gender communication. Her translational focus and mixed methods approach are woven throughout her health vulnerabilities research, which advocates for more effective communication to improve people’s health and safety. Her primary research interests focus on the study of women’s and ethical issues in health communication contexts and promotion of healthy lifestyle behaviors to improve personal and public health and safety. She researches communication at both the micro and macro levels and studies how communication influences relationships among individuals and with the social world.

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