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How Has the Amount of Information We Process Changed over Time?

We process almost three times more information than we did in 1960, leading some to call this the age of information overload. This has had a huge impact on how our brains function — several studies have shown that heavy multimedia users have more difficulty focusing and filtering out irrelevant information.

More facts on information overload:

  • The New York Times reported that computer users check an average of more than 40 websites per day and switches programs an average of 36 times per hour on the computer.

  • The average American is exposed to about 5,000 advertisements per day.

  • There are health effects from information overload, too — both children and adults who spend excessive time on the Internet or flipping channels are at risk for insomnia, heart disease and a weakened immune system.

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