Curious Learners Know the Signs of Information Overload and How To Tame It
#6. Increased irritability while staring at the search box.
The Infobesity Sufferer’s Quest for Answers: A Poem
Searching for info is an endless quest
Where is the answer
Who knows best.
I click and I scroll
And all I uncover is a fresh rabbit hole.
But “Aha!” I say with humble chagrin
The answer is clear
This is where I begin.
Info becomes knowledge that practitioners share
Wise searchers know
The answer is there.
— — Linda Rolf
What is Infobesity?
Infobesity is too much information, especially when this makes it more difficult or impossible to make timely, rational decisions.
Also known as information overload, information anxiety, and infoxication (try saying that really fast 5 times).
- Inability to make confident, reliable decisions in a short time period.
- Excessive attachment to Google.
- Over-reliance on quick answers and less time spent on critical thinking.
- Self-imposed pressure to be the go-to expert for everything in your organization.
- Fear of saying “I don’t know. Let’s ask ___.” where ____ doesn’t involve a browser.
- Increased irritability while staring at the search box.
- Heightened frustration levels because of the search volume returned.
- Nagging doubts about the trustworthiness of what you’re reading.
- Believing everything you read, especially from social media.
- Anxiety finding the search terms you think you should use.
- Unexplained aversion to rabbits.
- If what you’re searching for is outside your area of expertise, then it’s okay to acknowledge that you don’t know what you don’t know. This is the first step in your healthy information diet.
- Ask yourself “Who do I know and trust who does this professionally every day?” Pick up the phone and call them.
- Immediately stop asking the entire social media universe for their opinions and advice. Would you ask the bagger in Publix for advice on your pressing business decision? I think not.
- Step away from anything with a screen.
- Avoid heading down the inevitable rabbit holes. Even when you’re confident in your information-gathering, the temptation to follow a shiny new information nugget can be compelling.
- Bookmark it. Write it down. If it’s not relevant right now, don’t follow the bunny trail.
- Stop saying “just one more minute.” Nope. If you’re experiencing any of these infobesity symptoms, your time is up.
- More thinking. Less searching.
Possible Infobesity Remedy Side Effects
- Fear that you’re missing something that will affect your decision.
- Humbleness accepting the human condition that you don’t know everything.
- Relief that you don’t have to know things that you never wanted to know anyway.
- Increased confidence in your ability to build relationships that will add to your knowledge bank.
- More time in your day to focus on the things that matter most to you, your company, and your life.
Information is what helps your company thrive. Adopting a practical, healthy information diet is a simple habit that protects your sanity.
Linda Rolf is a lifelong curious learner who believes a knowledge-first approach builds valuable client relationships. She is fueled by discovering the unexpected connections among technology, data, information, people and process. For more than four decades, Linda and Quest Technology Group have been their clients’ trusted advisor and strategic partner.
Linda believes that lasting value and trust are created through continuously listening, sharing knowledge freely, and delivering more than their clients even know they need. As the CIO of their first startup client said, “The value that Quest brings to Cotton States is far greater than the software they develop.”
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Originally published at https://quest-technology-group.com.