Created by WS-71, 2015

Information Diet—Essay 2

The problem of information overload OR The necessity of a information diet

It was a morning just like every other. The teacher keeps talking and explaining, outlining and illustrating. And the pupils? They are switching off. The average pupil is keeping in mind only one fifth of the information raining down him, according to the Diploma-psychologist Dr. Siegfried Lehrl. Even 2000 years ago, the pedagogue Gottfried Herder found out that the teacher could not funnel his thoughts into the pupils. He has to arouse the ideas right in the pupils brains, so that they create their own thoughts and not the ones originally possessed by the teacher himself.

However, the story behind these facts is that the brain starts a kind of protection service if it gets flooded by information. In the worst case the brain lets every appeal pass, without letting them advance into the mind. For example if a child is trying to study at home while it is getting disturbed by loud music or other siblings, this sensory overload lets the brain temporary disable the short-term memory buffer. In this case, of course, the surrounding disorders are making it almost impossible to keep anything in mind.

Californian scientists have found out, that older people can certainly concentrate, but they are even less able to filter out useless appeals. This issue is broadly known as old age typical forgetfulness. But even if you are highly concentrated at one moment, too much information can cause damage. Chatting, surfing on the internet, phoning someone and sending SMS almost simultaneously leads the subject to suffer a loss of intelligence, according to Britain scientists. This effects impact can cause you to lose up to ten IQ-points, which is higher than through the consume of Marihuana.

The TV is considered to be one of the biggest factors in the matter of information overload. Consuming a huge variety of appeals for hours and hours makes the brain getting used to the flood of sensory impressions. The result is that many people are actually not receiving all the information around them, because the brain is cutting the amount of appeals being fully perceived. The problem, coming along with this automatism is, that even if important information is surrounding you, for example during a lecture, your brain keeps cutting the amount of information, actually getting (and staying) in your mind.

Summarizing this, we should start a information diet in order to be able to decide on ourselves, which information actually gets in our minds and which has to stay out.