The cliche saying “too much of a good thing” usually applies to typical vices like: alcohol, TV, food, shopping. But if you were to tell someone that having too much information (in essence, knowledge) would be just as bad as not having it, you’d undoubtedly get some perplexed looks.
In this day and age -one of “have to have it now” and staying in the loop at all times- the relentless and ever-present barrage of information makes people feel “in the know.” Sending/receiving hundreds or thousands of text messages a day gives us a sense of being well-informed about what’s going on in our social circle, and that puts our minds at ease.
When it comes to things relating to national or worldwide events, however, our minds can only handle so much.
The most recent case of “information overload” was the unwarranted amount of attention the Manti Te’o story received, not only from ESPN, but from every major news network in the country. Different media outlets were giving us conflicting bits of information when the story first broke and, as the story developed, the supposed “facts” were so conflicting that people became so confused by the story and stopped paying attention to it.
Our minds can only handle so much information at one time (courtesy of the Hippocampus), and when it is bombarded with a plethora of information within a short period of time it “freezes”, much like a computer.
A healthy dose of information? Productive and beneficial. Swarming amounts of information? Agitating and borderline nocuous.