Quotes on info overload

What writers and others say

Quotes on info overload


“Traditional ways to deal with information — reading, listening, writing, talking — are painfully slow in comparison to ‘viewing the big picture.’ Those who survive information overload will be those who search for information with broadband thinking but apply it with a single-minded focus.”
― Kathryn Alesandrini, author, in Survive Information Overload

“Information has value only to the degree that the receiver has invested effort in getting it. Getting information without lifting a finger means that everyone else is getting it too — which means it is useless. The value of information is related directly to the degree that you can use it for personal benefit.”
— Stewart Alsop, political journalist

“Your readers receive the data equivalent of 174 newspapers a day — ads included.”
― USC’s Annenberg School for Communication

“In your thirst for knowledge, be sure not to drown in all the information.”
— Anthony J. D’Angelo, author, The College Blue Book

Quotes on info overload


“Information is giving out. Communication is getting through.”
— Anonymous

“Knowledge is not only power, but sometimes overpowering.”
— Anonymous

“We are going to continue having these meetings, every day, until I find out why no work is getting done.”
— Anonymous manager

“The printing press is either the greatest blessing or the greatest curse of modern times. Sometimes one forgets which it is.”
— Sir James M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan

Quotes on info overload


“I’m not trying to say anything — I’m just talking.”
— BEK cartoon in The New Yorker

“We’re always making the crazy assumption that readers are reading everything we write.”
— William Blundell, author of The Art and Craft of Feature Writing

“The information in the world doubles every day. What they don’t tell us is that our wisdom is cut in half at the same time.”
— John Seely Brown, co-author of The Social Life of Information

“We all would like to know more and, at the same time, to receive less information. In fact, the problem of a worker in today’s knowledge industry is not the scarcity of information but its excess.”
― Mario Bunge, author, in Philosophy in Crisis: The Need for Reconstruction

Quotes on info overload


“In order to learn anything, we need time. And to make time we must use information filters allowing us to ignore most of the information aimed at us. We must ignore much to learn a little.”
― Mario Bunge, author, in Philosophy in Crisis: The Need for Reconstruction

“data smog: To be overwhelmed with too much information. Example: A Google search that turns up six million references is data smog.”
— BuzzWhack

“dejamoo: The nagging feeling that you’ve heard this bull before.”
— BuzzWhack

“dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.”
— BuzzWhack

Quotes on info overload


“landspam: Spam delivered the old-fashioned way — on paper and via your local Postal Service worker. Some of us still call it ‘junk mail.'”
— BuzzWhack

“mental Pez: To be hit with so much information that it becomes impossible to focus on one thing, so stuff goes from top-of-mind to tip-of-tongue, only to eventually fall out of our head completely … sort of like a mental Pez. (From the ‘Sally Forth’ comic strip.)”
— BuzzWhack

“smotherage: A form of media overkill. When a news organization covers an event (generally of little significance) with multiple reporters, producing stories on every conceivable angle and providing perspectives almost no one is interested in.”
— BuzzWhack

“If information is power, it is also a pain.”
— Scott Canon, staff writer for The Kansas City Star

Quotes on info overload


“How can you care about anything when you know every goddamn thing?”
— Dave Chappelle, comedian, in The Age of Spin

“Wisdom is dead. Long live information.”
— Mason Cooley, American aphorist

“When access [to information] is easy, we tend to favor the short, the sweet and the bitty.”
— Tyler Cowen, economist and author of Create Your Own Economy

“An environment with excess information devours the one thing that information truly demands: attention. Attention is becoming scarce, so we have to use it wisely when we get it.”
― Alistair Croll, founder, Fwd50

Quotes on info overload


“We all get heavier as we get older because there’s a lot more information in our heads.”
— Vlade Divac, NBA basketball player

“It’s harder than ever to find a spot on Earth that hasn’t been turned into a marketing opportunity. Everything from park benches to high school gymnasiums now comes with commercial sponsors, and ads have been popping up in restaurant bathrooms and even at the end of personal emails.”
— Eric Effron, editor, The Week

“Information is not knowledge.”
— Albert Einstein, Nobel Prize-winning physicist

“We are bombarded on all sides by a vast number of messages we don’t want or need. More information is generated in a single day than we can absorb in a lifetime. To fully enjoy life, all of us must find our own breathing space and peace of mind.”
― James E. Faust, American lawyer

Quotes on info overload


“The goal is to transform data into information and information into insight.”
— Carly Fiorina, former chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard

“Be a complexity reducer, not an information producer.”
— Diane Gayeski, Ph.D., CEO of Gayeski Analytics

“We take it, as a given, that the more information decision makers have, the better off they are. But what does the Goldman algorithm say? Quite the opposite: that all that extra information isn’t actually an advantage at all. In fact, that extra information is more than useless. It’s harmful. It confuses the issues.”
— Malcolm Gladwell, author, in Blink

“The strongest human instinct is to impart information. The second strongest is to resist it.”
— Kenneth Grahame, Scottish novelist

Quotes on info overload


“The sheer volume of information dissolves the information. We are unable to take it all in.”
— Günther Grass, German author

“American knowledge workers waste 25% of their time dealing with huge data streams. That costs the U.S. economy $997 billion a year.”
― The Information Overload Research Group

“No wonder ‘wired’ means both ‘connected to the internet’ and ‘high, frantic, unable to concentrate.’”
― Johann Hari, UK journalist

“Employees spend nearly half their workweeks reading emails and finding information. Add sharing that information in-house, and that leaves just 39% of their workweeks for doing their jobs.”
― McKinsey Global Institute

Quotes on info overload


“The two words ‘information’ and ‘communication’ are often used interchangeably, but they signify quite different things. Information is giving out; communication is getting through.”
— Sydney J. Harris, an American journalist for the Chicago Sun-Times

“Attention is the currency of the information economy.”
— Shel Holtz, ABC, principal of Communications & Technology

“In the age of technology there is constant access to vast amounts of information. The basket overflows; people get overwhelmed; the eye of the storm is not so much what goes on in the world, it is the confusion of how to think, feel, digest, and react to what goes on.”
— Criss Jami, American poet and essayist

“We live in the information age and the sheer volume of it being available everywhere, creates a need for information that has value. Yes, we can look anything up on Google but who has the time? Can we trust that the information comes from a trustworthy source?”
― Kytka Hilmar-Jezek, author, in Book Power: A Platform for Writing, Branding, Positioning & Publishing

Quotes on info overload


“Remember, the easiest thing for the reader to do is quit reading.”
— Barney Kilgore, former Wall Street Journal editor, quoted in NoTrain-NoGain.com

“When something becomes abundant, it also becomes cheap. A world awash in information is one in which information has very little market value.”
— Paul Krugman, American economist and New York Times columnist

“The reader is now driven by the fatigue factor.”
— Ellen Levine, former editor in chief of Good Housekeeping

“We’ve created more information in the last five years than all of human history before it.”
— Daniel Levitin, author and neuroscientist

Quotes on info overload


“Information is money, but data is squat.”
— Angela Llama-Butler, Delta System Designs

“The difficulty in keeping well informed today is not that news is scarce, but that there is so much more ‘news’ each day than the average man can assimilate.”
— Henry R. Luce, founder and editor, Time magazine

“I’m road kill on the information highway.”
— Melanie Marshall, former CEO of Hipikat.com

“One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There’s always more than you can cope with.”
― Marshall McLuhan, Canadian professor and philosopher

Quotes on info overload


“Seven days without email: Priceless.”
— MasterCard ad

“Certainly the more information we get, the higher the level of ignorance seems to be.”
— Errol Morris, filmmaker

“We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge.”
— John Naisbitt, social researcher

“Information is not only renewable, but self-generating. Running out of it is not a problem, but drowning in it is.”
— John Naisbitt, American futurist and bestselling author

Quotes on info overload


“Information Overload = ‘information pollution.’”
― Jakob Nielsen, “king of usability”

“Spam isn’t even pollution, it’s attention theft.”
— Jakob Nielsen, usability guru

“Information multitasking temporarily lowers your IQ by more than 10 points. Smoking weed, in comparison, costs only four IQ points.”
― Hewlett Packard

“Information is just signs and numbers, while knowledge involves their meaning. What we want is knowledge, but what we get is information.”
— Heinz R. Pagels, physicist and author

Quotes on info overload


“You know what I think? All this information superhighway shit? Bunch of crap. Even with thirty channels, there’s nothing on. I mean I have a hard time believing that, but it’s true. Crap to the right of me. Crap to the left of me. Five hundred channels? Give me an f—ing break. Five hundred times zero is still zero.”
— a character in Ridley Pearson’s No Witnesses

“Information has become a form of garbage. We don’t know what to do with it, have no control over it, don’t know how to get rid of it.”
— Neil Postman, cultural critic

“80% get headaches, insomnia or eye twitches from information overload.”
― National Public Radio

“If the writer has to compete with the seductions of Facebook, with shrewdly written television, with culturally relevant movies — with, in short, every bright thing that flies to the surface of the iPhone — that’s all the more reason for him to write dramatically, vividly, beautifully.”
— Katie Roiphe, professor at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University

Quotes on info overload


“You’re not more informed. You’re just numbed.”
— Tom Rosenstiel, former Los Angeles Times media critic

“It’s been my policy to view the Internet not as an ‘information highway,’ but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies.”
— Mike Royko, American journalist

“I was thinking that information was power. I now regard this as one of the great seductive myths of our time.”
— David Shenk, author of Data Smog

“In a glutted environment, the most difficult task is not getting one’s message out, but finding a receptive audience.”
— David Shenk, author of Data Smog

Quotes on info overload


“It’s not information overload. It’s filter failure.”
― Clay Shirky, American technology writer

“What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.”
— Herbert Alexander Simon, economist and Nobel laureate

“Information overload is a symptom of our desire to not focus on what’s important. It is a choice.”
― Brian Solis, principal analyst, Altimeter Group

“We consume, on average, 15.5 hours worth of media a day.”
― University of Southern California’s Institute for Communications Technology Management

“Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”
— Gertrude Stein, American writer

Quotes on info overload


“It’s all right, sweetie. In the information age, everybody feels stupid.”
— Peter Steiner cartoon in The New Yorker

“Information is not power. If information were power, then librarians would be the most powerful people on the planet.”
— Bruce Sterling, American science fiction writer

“Data is not information, Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not understanding, Understanding is not wisdom.”
— Cliff Stoll and Gary Schubert, scientists

“The information revolution now gives us access to too much information. Our problems are that we’re just overwhelmed, so in some sense we just basically don’t even know where to turn.”
― Jonathan Taplin, American writer, film producer and scholar

Quotes on info overload


“I’m not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.”
— Mark Twain, American writer and wit

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom.”
— Edward O. Wilson, a Harvard professor and biologist

“One question: If this is the Information Age, how come nobody knows anything?”
— Woman at a party in a New Yorker cartoon

“He hasn’t slept well since his dreams started carrying advertising.”
— a woman talking about her husband in a New Yorker cartoon

Quotes on info overload


“I think of wisdom in relation to the information age this way. Data organized is information. Information made meaningful is knowledge. Knowledge linked to other knowledge is intelligence. And intelligence granted experience is wisdom.”
— Jim Young, executive, EDS

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