Infomania

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Infomania is the debilitating state of information overload,[citation needed] caused by the combination of a backlog of information to process (usually in e-mail), and continuous interruptions from technologies like phones, instant messaging, and e-mail.[citation needed] It is also understood as distraction caused by the urge to check e-mail, text messaging and other sources of information, which causes the person to show symptoms to neglect other, often more important things.[1][2] A typical symptom of infomania is checking e-mail frequently during vacation.

Origin of the term[edit]

The term infomania has been used since the 1980s, but has only recently been used as a term for a psychological debility.

The term was coined by Elizabeth M. Ferrarini, the author of Confessions of an Infomaniac (1984) and Infomania: The Guide to Essential Electronic Services (1985). Confessions was an early book about life online. It was excerpted in Cosmopolitan in 1982.

Effects[edit]

In 2005, Dr. Glenn Wilson conducted an experimental study which documented the detrimental effects of information overload on problem solving ability[citation needed]. This was described in a press release accompanying a self-report survey of the extent of misuse of modern technology sponsored by Hewlett-Packard.[citation needed] In 2010, Dr. Glenn Wilson published a clarifying note about the study[3] in which he documented the limited size of the study and stated the results were "widely misrepresented in the media".

There have not been any long-term studies on the effects of infomania,[4] but studies on Fear of Missing Out, which involves compulsively checking in on the experiences of others via social media[5] show the effects of constant interruptions. A study by Gloria Mark at UC Irvine concluded interruptions result in "more stress, higher frustration, time pressure and effort"[6] and it took an average of 23 minutes to return to an original task after an interruption.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Zomorodi, Manoush. "Hi, I'm a digital junkie, and I suffer from infomania". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  2. ^ Lifesize, Simon Dudley,. "Infomania, Texting and Productivity: How Tech May Hamper the Connected Experience". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-09-13.
  3. ^ Clarifying note by Dr. Glenn Wilson on the "Infomania" Study
  4. ^ 2017 LA Times article on infomania
  5. ^ Przybylski, Andrew K. (2013). "Motivational, emotional, and behavioral correlates of fear of missing out". Computers in Human Behavior. 29: 1841–1848. doi:10.1016/j.chb.2013.02.014.
  6. ^ a b Mark, Gloria. "The Cost of Interrupted Work: More Speed and Stress" (PDF). ics.uci.edu. Retrieved 4 July 2017.

External links[edit]

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