Too Much Information to Handle

Today’s society is obsessed with technology to say the least. Every year, more and more electronic contraptions and applications come out to satisfy the public’s want for fast and easy access to information. People are able to surf the web from almost anywhere as long as service is accessible. Everything you could have ever wanted to know is available at the click of a few buttons on a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Who would have thought that having all of the information in the world readily available to you at any given moment could be a bad thing? People may think otherwise, but research shows that society is reaching the point information overload.

With decision making comes many steps; one of the largest being gathering information. The combination of the internet and smartphones has made decision making a whole new story with sites such as Urban Spoon for food, Expedia for hotels, and Angie’s List for just about any other category you could think of. Research shows the more information you obtain beyond a certain point, the less effective your final decision will be. This is due to incapacity of the human brain’s dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. For some, an overwhelming amount of information can even result in paralysis in which the individual trying to make the decision completely gives up and opts out of the situation all together. I have experienced such paralysis personally when researching vacation options. The overpowering wave of reviews tired me out to the point of dropping the idea all together.

More is not necessarily better when it comes to information; all that the overload does is hurt you in the end.  In Sharon Begley’s article “I Can’t Think”, experts say that ‘our best decisions are made through unconscious processes’.  Taking information in small waves rather than all at once will be most beneficial in allowing your unconscious decision making to take action, and in the end, make the ideal choice.

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