In low tech local environment where an overwhelming majority is still struggling to access and find required information, there are some high end-users who are already complaining of information overload.
Busy executives, decision makers and other people taking advantage of computing in work and meaningful pursuits need all the quality information they can get. They turn to the web because it has amassed huge amounts of information in almost all areas of human activities. But what is information in the first place? Technically speaking, “information is stimuli that have meaning in some context for its receiver. When information is entered into and stored in a computer, it is generally referred to as data – information translated into a form that is more convenient to move or process. When information is packaged or used for understanding or doing something, it is known as knowledge – to an enterprise or an individual, the possession of information or the ability to quickly locate it.” For the purpose here, I think the term ‘information’ is the correct description of some of what is available on the web, rather than knowledge or wisdom.
Advances in web technologies and their growing usage have made the production, distribution, and sharing of information so much easier than what it was only a decade ago. It has reduced the time span of business practices and processes, which would otherwise have taken very long time to be implemented on ground. But information comes with an additional excess of irrelevant junk, unclear and inaccurate data, even conflicting, making it becomes difficult to sift what is important from what is not. This “excess information beyond what is desired or needed by any user requiring non productive processing” is called information overload. The number of work hours available and the inherent human capacity to absorb information have remained almost same over years whereas the need to access, understand and digest information had gone up many times.