Information Pollution, Knowledge Overload, Limited Attention Spans, and Our Responsibilities as IS Professionals
David A. Bray
Harvard University; University of Oxford; National Defense University
Global Information Technology Management Association (GITMA) World Conference - June 2008
I enclose a general submission piece discussing information pollution and the problems associated with this phenomenon. I detail how information pollution arises, what challenges it brings for us as IS professionals, and future avenues of research and development that might remedy this problem. Specifically, the average knowledge worker - someone who is part of the growing information economy - loses 2.1 hours a day to interruptions associated with multi-tasking. If those workers make an average of $21 an hour, that adds up to $588 billion a year, more than the gross domestic product of Argentina. Another recent study finds knowledge workers experienced interruptions approximately once every 10 minutes and it took an average of 23 minutes for them to return to their original task. What can we do as IS professionals to address information pollution? This paper seeks to provide answers and stimulate future endeavors.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6
Keywords: information pollution, knowledge overload, attention spans, information systems, cognitive distortion, social distortion, evolutionary biology
JEL Classification: D70, D83, D89
Date posted: February 15, 2007 ; Last revised: September 29, 2013
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