Modern Information Overload Stressing Out the Human Brain

By R. Siva Kumar - 01 Oct '15 17:19PM
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The world is connected as never before. With so much information on your fingertips, is it healthy to continue it as it is?

Maybe, or maybe not. But scientists feel that it can leave us stressed and exhausted.

A study by ESRI U.K. discovered that a third of the people surveyed believe that they are being overwhelmed by "data overload" and are stressed out due to their inability to process the information.

"When we're inundated with emails, Twitter, Facebook, social media, search engines like Google, it's as if we're expected to know more than we actually do, and we can't retain that level of information, that bombardment. When we feel overwhelmed, we start to delay making decisions.," said Lynda Shaw, a neuroscience and psychology lecturer at Brunel University in London, according to BBC.

"Paying attention to a vast amount of data requires multitasking, rapidly switching attention from one source to another, which has been found to increase levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Receiving novel information activates the brain's reward pathway, which leads to a continuous cycle in which we are compelled to seek out more and more information, eventually resulting in a state of restlessness," said Dimitrios Tsivrikos, a consumer and business psychologist at UCL, reports The Telegraph.

A new solution has been forwarded by Tsivrikos. He explains that any information that is supplied through images or graphics, can help the human brain to absorb and assimilate it faster.

The ESRI study shows that about 60 percent of the subjects who were studied felt that maps or graphics can be more digestible instead of so much text.

What is the final solution, then? Write less! Go slow on text, write short, brief emails, and keep away from long, wordy data and letters!

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