Information Overload is not a new concept or even a recent phenomenon. As far back as the first century AD, Roman philosopher Seneca said that “the abundance of books is distraction” – although he said it much more poetically as “distringit librorum multitude”
The term “information overload” was penned in the 20th century, by American social scientist Bertram Myron Gross in his 1964 book, The Managing of Organizations: The Administrative Struggle. Then futurist Alvin Toffler expounded on the concept and included the phrase in his seminal work of 1970, Future Shock.
Once an academic concept, Information Overload
is now firmly planted in popular culture, not to mention a growing problem for individuals and organizations alike.
TMI – Too Much Information?
Information growth moves in lockstep with advances in technology. Some technologies, like the printing press and the photocopier, have had a profound impact; yet it’s the twin developments of digitization and the internet that are bringing warp speed to the process. Today, information overload has reached glut proportions, resulting in clever new descriptions like “infobesity” and “infoxication” among others.