Will it take us an entire era to be able to sift through all the information we encounter daily? Undoubtedly, we live in the age of the greatest spread of information in the history of humanity. Thanks to current technology, the speed of creating and spreading large quantities of information is increasingly accelerating. In the last decade, social media became the channels of media that make them one of the primary sources of information for a large portion of people. Today, they are not only online platforms built on the principle of creating and maintaining connections between users. They are platforms that help us get information, express ourselves and our views, as well as share various content with a selected or global audience.
Despite the above-mentioned benefits of the existence of these information and communicative platforms, I think that it is important to try and answer a couple of questions. “Do these platforms provide reliable information”; “Should we be critical of the content we read?”; “Is it possible that being overinformed is depriving us instead of enriching us?”. These are just some of the questions whose answers are contained in the two main topics that we will cover. The first one is related to the unwanted effect of our incessant encounter with information and the second presents the “Improvement” that we need to learn to filter, organize and correctly assess the existing information.

Information fatigue syndrome (IFS)
Each of us can cognitively process information, however, it is not an unlimited resource and has some limits like any other cognitive process. Cognitive processes are mental processes, thanks to which we learn, speak, make decisions, memorize and communicate.
Information fatigue as a problem is not a discovery. However, the modern version of information fatigue is many times more severe, due to the unceasing creation of mobile and computer devices, the availability of fast Internet almost everywhere in the world and unlimited access to various mobile applications, social platforms, etc.
The information fatigue syndrome describes the excess of information available to us and usually has a dysfunctional effect by increasing our anxiety levels leading to a loss of control, stress and even depression. Many times, instead of enriching our knowledge, in actuality we become really confused and we start to feel personal discomfort that affects our attitudes and beliefs, deprives us of our criticality and objectivity and creates difficulties in making decisions.
Maybe we don’t realize that the media platforms are successfully controlling us but respectively we lose self-control. Probably the unconscious control that is exerted on us stems not only from our susceptibility to readily available information but also from the lack of effective mechanisms to counteract the destructive informational influence that social media platforms often direct at the users. Along those lines, have you ever wondered whether tech companies are taking advantage of the addictiveness of the Internet to attract more users without any regard for their well-being? According to Simon H., one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence, the excess of information is a sure sign that something else is missing that the information is consuming. That something is precisely our attention. The presented information, in whatever shape or form, is also a consumer. By devoting excessive attention to many and varied sources, we exhaust our cognitive resources and this causes attentional disturbances and leads to impairment in decision-making both for the credibility of sources and in daily life.
Being informed is undoubtedly the path to knowledge, successful professional realization and personal growth. Despite that, people who are under the influence of informational fatigue can be observed to have the same effect as people who are not informed. On one hand, being poorly informed is limiting because it does not allow for perspective thinking and is related to a lack of sufficient competencies. On the other hand, being excessively informed also leads to limitations because of the inability to organize the perceived information which provokes uncertainty and blocks control.

Do you often feel like there is so much information around you that instead of helping you, it decreases your ability to concentrate and arouses a feeling of anxiety? If the answer is yes, then keep reading to get familiar with some of the most effective techniques for managing information fatigue.

Pay attention when choosing. Knowledge and information are something valuable, however, we must learn to protect our own time and attention. Being selective will allow us to devote the necessary mental energy to activities and information sources that bring value.
Set priorities. Focus on exactly what kind of information you would need to accomplish a certain goal and from where will you get it. This way you will learn to proactively approach information, instead of reacting to whatever is available.
Select by importance. By nature and importance, some decisions deserve more time, while others – less. Determine which decisions are worth extensive research and which are not. In this way, you will be able to free up time to make effective decisions when needed.
Time limit for collecting information. The abundance of information is addicting, that is why we need to be strategic about how much time we spend looking for it. One possible strategy could be related to the requirement “How does this source of information help me?”
Take a break. Try to find time to relax your mind by turning off the flow of information (phone, computer, etc.) That way you will be able to enjoy the silence. And it is no secret that silence has the power to assemble the greatest things.

1. D. (2018). Media and information literacy – topics to be continued. Yearbook of Department of Mass Communications, 1:127-141.
2. Boyanova, D., Vasileva, S., Bozhinova, R., Pencheva, E. (2004). Personality, Cognitive style and decision-making. Psychological Research, 2:81-96.
3. Kolev, N. (2021). The global collapse of trust in social media as news source. Annual of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Faculty of Journalism and Mass Communication, 1:55-78.