Information Overload from Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

Socialbarrel
Aaron Elliott Founder, Socialbarrel.com, Social Barrel

Posted on August 1st 2013

Information Overload from Social Media [INFOGRAPHIC]

The average daily information dumped on a social network user is 54,000 words, equivalent to the length of the average novel. That textual content is only 63 percent of the information dumped on every social network user on a daily basis.

Information overload is real, and it is a problem to health and productivity when abused. Anyone can simply look up for information on the amount of information published online daily, but we highly unlikely come across a research on the amount of daily information dumped on every user.

LikeHack, a social newsfeed reader, managed to do just that. With data from 3 million social accounts, LikeHack was able to monitor the average daily information dumped on each social network user. However, the website left off people who have severely anomalous characteristics from the data gathering process. For example, it excluded Twitter users and accounts subscribed to thousands of people because they obviously cannot keep up and read all the tweets.

The users included in the study consisted of people who work in Internet companies or own an online business, along with their friends. LikeHack fetched data for 12 hours to get a good measurement on the average amount of information received by a social network user. The study took into account the average length of articles and blogs at 300 words, and the average length of YouTube videos at 4 minutes and 12 seconds. This does not mean people spend the good part of 12 hours reading articles or watching videos. LikeHack said it shows the amount of daily information dumped on each user. In addition, social network users filter the information they receive to avoid spending too much energy going through all of the articles, photos, and videos.

Stalling on the Internet typically is linked to rich multimedia content, such as YouTube videos. As a result, reading articles gives us the impression of a productive activity. However, that is the heart of stalling or procrastination. Most social network users believe they are doing something worthwhile, but in reality, they get sidetracked or distracted from their original tasks. LikeHack said social network users tend to read and get too immersed on irrelevant information than what is necessary.

According to the study, nearly half of the user accounts received less than a hundred pieces of daily content. LikeHack said these are inactive accounts or people who disregard most social media content and talk only to a thin circle of friends. In addition, there are people who receive newsfeeds with thousands of pieces of content every day. LikeHack said they seem to only read the news, nothing more.

Here are the results of the study:

information overload from social media

 

Socialbarrel

Aaron Elliott

Founder, Socialbarrel.com, Social Barrel

I'm 30 and live in Adelaide, Australia. I have a strong interest and passion for Social Media, Blogging and Online Marketing. To execute this passion I have created Socialbarrel.com which aims to connect social media users and marketers, with the latest and most up-to-date news on the social media scene. Don't forget to check out Socialbarrel.com for more Social Media News.

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Comments

Bricks2312
Posted on August 1st 2013 at 2:56PM

Great infographic. But do you think it is an overload for everyone, because most people probably don't look at everything the get. They will look at the things they really like instead of everything. So do you think it's ok to send a lot of info out there because not everyone that follows you looks at it, or should we all cut back on how much we share? 

Socialbarrel
Posted on August 2nd 2013 at 1:13PM

Your right people will only look at the things that interest them and the technology within Twitter, Facebook ect also helps narrow down what we "should" like.

However, other studies have shown that the average social media user can't get enough info and will be checking their profiles last thing at night and as soon as they get up. Why? Simply because there is always new information available, and a lot of users are afraid of missing out - even if they don't realise it. 

I'm not actually sure if we should be cutting back or sharing more, and think that testing and analysing how your audience engages is the only way to find out.

belindasummers
Posted on August 2nd 2013 at 2:38AM

As a social network user, I skim. A lot. And I still consider myself as a normal user. This is because we can only handle much information that we subconsciously filter out anything that’s nothing new to us.

The more we spend time on the internet, the more we receive information. The more we crave for it, the more we get impatient. That’s why we start to devalue content as we only get to absorb a small portion of that information before moving to the next one. Why is it so easy to move on? Because of how technology is designed for us. One click sends to you to another. Are we now adjusting ourselves for new technology? Instead of letting new technology adjust for us?

Socialbarrel
Posted on August 2nd 2013 at 1:19PM

Belinda, I would love to know the answer to your question because I often wonder the same thing. So are we letting technology get ahead us and adjusting for it? What was everyone doing before Candy Crush and Fruit Ninja? Hell, before the iphone people actually talked during dinner and watched before they crossed the road.

Dimitris Andreas Chatzidakis
Posted on August 2nd 2013 at 6:44AM

Great work here! Congrats!

Socialbarrel
Posted on August 2nd 2013 at 1:20PM

Thanks Dimitris, appreciate the comment.

CarolineZeiger
Posted on August 2nd 2013 at 2:26PM
Over 54.000 words? Wow, never thought about that.