The Negative Effects of Information Overload in Humans

Technology, in its various forms, has existed for centuries, From the wheel to the android, technology has proved to be a major staple in society. Just think, without technology, humans would still be huddled in a cave somewhere, arguing about how to cook their food. Technology is wonderful; no denying that. Just in the field of medicine alone, technology has granted humans a chance to research new cures and find new treatments to save lives. Like all good things, however, technology has its imperfections. For example, social media, according to an article by Jenny Q. Ta, has some negative impacts on productivity, privacy, and real-world communication in people, So, what? Do humans give up on technology simply because of its drawbacks? No.

People do, however, need to understand how technology affects them on a psychological level; specifically their sense of instant gratification, Neil Patel, a contributor to Entrepreneur, defines instant gratification as the instinctual desire to receive whatever one wants instantly, without any delay or determent. Technology, in conjunction with this natural human desire for instant gratification, has created a population of people who are spoiled, readily overwhelmed with information, and have substantially lowered attention ps. In order to delve deep into the heart of technology’s effect on the human sense of instant gratification, one must have a good grasp on what, exactly, instant gratification is.

The idea of instant gratification seems simple enough: when one wants something, one desires to receive it immediately; however, some interesting genetic studies have been conducted on the issue of instant appeasement. A sense of instant gratification exists in all humans–one can obviously see this when watching an infant–yet, little is known about whether instant gratification is hereditary, circumstantial, or coincidental. John J. Ray and Jackob M, Najman discuss the statistical inconsistencies of the prevalence of instant fulfillment in children in their article “The up; how angry do people get when they are out of a service range on their phones? The question is: why would a person, who is otherwise rather calm, become so quick-tempered and angry when something as menial as a “no service” symbol pops up on his or her phone?

According to Tara Parker»Pope’s article “An Ugly Toll of Technology: Impatience and Forgetfulness”, excessive exposure to technology can cause people to become “impatient, impulsive, forgetful and even more narcissistic”. In her article, Parker-Pope discusses the prevalence of the human addiction to technology, claiming that, according to the psychological journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, college students are two times more likely to be addicted to the internet than to gambling Technology and its effects are seen everywhere from the lack of communication that now exists in families to the people who, when forced to wait for a few seconds, pull out their phones to close the door on any possible boredom that may result from their wait, Technology and instant gratification are directly related.

Without technology, the human need for instant gratification wouldn’t be as easily fulfilled, and “high speed” internet would never have been invented if humans didn’t have the need for immediate satisfaction, One cannot exist without the other. Instant gratification, therefore, is directly related to the spontaneous irritation and profound impatience resultant of excessive technology. Since people are able to access anything instantly, man dictates that the rest of the world move just as quickly to accommodate him, When the world fails to do this, man become irritable and angry, just like a child when he or she is told “no”. As well as becoming more and more spoiled because of instant gratification and technology, humans are becoming increasingly overwhelmed by the vast amounts of information available to them, Information addicts, as Jenny C, McCune coins it in her article “DATA DATA Everywhere”, are constantly and efficiently looking up new information that is readily available to them at the touch of a button.

Because there is such an incredibly large database of articles, blogs, news reports, andjournals to choose from–all of which being immediately available via cell phones–, information addicts are constantly consuming large amounts of data; too much data to handle. In her article, McCune discusses the “side effects” of information overload such as a sense of feeling burned out, a shortened attention p, a decrease in proactive behavior, a feeling of stress, an inability to make decisions easily, and an overall declination in the quality of work With these profound effects, it’s really no wonder that humans feel so disconnected, Even though people aren’t always doing extensive scholarly research, they are almost always spending time on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, which provide another type of information: personal information.

People are constantly researching the lives of their friends on these sites, absorbing more and more of their history, rumors, gossip, and for what purpose other than cheap, fleeting entertainment? Humans take in so much information that it is overwhelming them, making them miserable. David Shenk discusses this overload of information and its effects in his article “Data Smog: Surviving the Info Glut’fl In his article, Shenk describes the predicament in which so many people find themselves: new information is being produced faster than they can take it in. He reveals that this is a fairly new situation, addressing that for thousands of years, humans could only examine information about as quickly as they could create and circulate it.

So, why are humans suddenly so overcome with this expanse of knowledge? Simple: this knowledge is easily accessible instantaneously and is simply waiting for someone to snatch it up In other words, humans cannot help but consume this information if it’s right in front of them; it goes against their nature to refrain, Regardless of how much information is absorbed, humans can’t retain this information for any real length of time; they are instantly able to satisfy their fleeting desire for knowledge, but they forget that information shortly afterward, This is mostly because the need for retaining information, sadly, has fallen by the wayside. People just don’t need [0 remember things like they used to. Not just scholarly knowledge, either, No one has to remember telephone numbers, important dates, addresses, bank numbers, etc., because one’s phone contains and organizes all this information Nicholas Carr addresses this in his article “Is Google Making Us Stupid’K.

In his article, Carr discusses the implications of immediate access to information on attention p through his own personal experiences as well as research from various scholars and psychologists. According to Carr, a five-year study conducted by University College London showed that people would never spend a substantial amount of time reading online or written materials, mostly skimming the material, These people would read a few pages of a source, then bounce off to another source for more information and rarely return to the previously visited materials. Maryanne Wolf, to whom Carr also refers in his article, is likewise of the opinion that the reading people do online focuses on “efficiency” and ”immediacy”, which alters the human brain in such a way that reading and interpreting long texts without becoming distracted proves to be rather difficult. The immediate graLification humans feel when discovering new information is satisfactory, at the time, even if this new information doesn’t last.

Humans will perpetually find themselves in a supposed state of control, They will always believe that they can handle whatever problem exists, whether they are drowning in a sea, or drowning in a sea of information The hard truth, however, is that humans are drowning in a sea of their own making, and they don’t think they need to be saved. Humans are falling prey to their own desires, their own senses of narcissism and immediate satisfaction, and they can’t see what they’re missing. There is a world out there, a world that is barely holding on, and the people are too busy with their selfish desires, their Facebook, their need for pointless information that they won’t even remember, to notice that the world is falling apart. Look around.

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