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Information Surplus, Information Overload, and Multiplatform News Consumption: Updating Considerations of Influential Factors
Unformatted Document Text:  Information Overload and the Factor of Time 3   Introduction Advancements in digital technologies have revolutionized the way information is produced and delivered, leading to a fundamental change unseen in human history—the oversupply of information. Not so long ago, filling up a single terabyte would have been considered an extraordinary feat. Today, more than five million terabytes of information are available on the Internet (Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes, 2011). As a result, the amount of information available to users extends well beyond what can reasonably be consumed, causing “information surplus” (Chyi, 2009). Triggered by digital technologies and quickened by Web 2.0 services among other things, such a surplus has profound implications for media organizations. Most media companies have become multiplatform media enterprises, delivering content through a multitude of channels (Albarran, 2010; Vishwanath, 2008) but still losing users’ attention share as the inevitable consequence of information oversupply (Chyi, 2009). On the demand side, information surplus may trigger psychological effects on users, causing “information overload”—the state of a consumer in which not all information or information modalities can be processed usefully, ultimately leading to largely negative outcomes (Bawden, Holtham, & Courtney, 1999). Given the amount of news and information available, it shouldn’t be surprising that news consumers, especially younger people, were overloaded with facts and updates, having trouble moving into the background and context of news stories (Associated Press, 2008). Against this backdrop, Davenport and Beck (2001) asked whether “we are the first society with ADD” (Attention Deficit Disorder).

Authors: Holton, Avery. and Chyi, H. Iris.
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Information Overload and the Factor of Time 
3
 
Introduction 
Advancements in digital technologies have revolutionized the way information is 
produced and delivered, leading to a fundamental change unseen in human history—the 
oversupply of information. Not so long ago, filling up a single terabyte would have been 
considered an extraordinary feat. Today, more than five million terabytes of information 
are available on the Internet (Megabytes, Gigabytes, Terabytes, 2011). As a result, the 
amount of information available to users extends well beyond what can reasonably be 
consumed, causing “information surplus” (Chyi, 2009). Triggered by digital technologies 
and quickened by Web 2.0 services among other things, such a surplus has profound 
implications for media organizations. Most media companies have become multiplatform 
media enterprises, delivering content through a multitude of channels (Albarran, 2010; 
Vishwanath, 2008) but still losing users’ attention share as the inevitable consequence of 
information oversupply (Chyi, 2009).   
On the demand side, information surplus may trigger psychological effects on 
users, causing “information overload”—the state of a consumer in which not all 
information or information modalities can be processed usefully, ultimately leading to 
largely negative outcomes (Bawden, Holtham, & Courtney, 1999). Given the amount of 
news and information available, it shouldn’t be surprising that news consumers, 
especially younger people, were overloaded with facts and updates, having trouble 
moving into the background and context of news stories (Associated Press, 2008). 
Against this backdrop, Davenport and Beck (2001) asked whether “we are the first 
society with ADD” (Attention Deficit Disorder). 


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