Whether, and to what extent, we feel overwhelmed by the news and information inputs around us depends greatly on what platforms we use to read and collect that information according to a new study.
The study found that it doesn’t matter so much what you’re reading as much as how you’re reading it. So Twitter on a computer would push you into overwhelmed but Twitter on your phone isn’t likely to cause much stress. It doesn’t even matter so much how many news sources someone reads regularly. According to the study the deciding factor was almost always the device in question.
Personally I feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of inputs that I have going at any given time. I’ve got X hundred personal RSS feeds, X hundred client-related RSS feeds, several hundred people I follow on Twitter and so on and so forth. If I’m paying attention to one thing it means I’m behind on – or completely missing in the case of the Twitter stream – the others. There’s a certain amount of letting go that has to be done, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel them building up in the background. And while all that is going on it means there are newspapers, magazines and more that I’m not reading at the moment. It can get to be a bit much.