?Dataholism? is the post modern addiction of the next century, if a report out this week from Reuters is to be believed.
The survey claims that 53 per cent of managers questioned ?craved? information while 54 per cent found their colleagues were frequently unable to handle the quantity of information they received.
Over half the managers (54 per cent) felt their colleagues worry about making poor decisions, because the bulk of data they receive outweighs the time they have to read and interpret it.
The survey, ?Glued to the screen: an investigation into information addiction worldwide?, questioned a sample of 1,000 business managers from corporations in six countries worldwide, including the UK and US. Four out of five respondents believed the situation will get worse.
But some experts believe the fears are exaggerated, and information overload must be distinguished from harmful addiction. Chartered psychologist Mark Griffiths said: ?My view on this research is that it does not prove people are information addicts. Information addicts do exist, but I do not believe there is a large number of sufferers.? He continued: ?A bona fide addiction is made up of the following components: salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal symptons and conflicts. In the Reuters survey there were no questions about withdrawal, or conflicts with other areas of life such as making compromises in personal or professional relationships.?
Anne-Marie Highley, Reuter?s UK marketing manager, responded: ?We are not medical experts and we didn?t set out to prove that there is information addiction.? Despite the title of the report, she claims its brief was to ?prove that there is information overload?.
But she claimed proof of addiction had surfaced. ?The fact is that our report substantiates a claim that information addiction does exist and employers and employees should be made aware of this.?
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