Information Overload Effect on Children

Information Overload Effect on Children

According to School Library Media Research (www.ala.org), about 85 percent of all children experience information overload – with it affecting girls at a higher rate than boys. Information overload is exposure to too much data, which of course is everywhere now. Kids get information from parents, teachers, television, games, TV shows and the internet.

  • Improper Filtering of Information – When a child is given too much information for their brain to handle, they just stop filtering the information properly because it’s too fast and too much. Due to this improper filtering of information, they might remember the information incorrectly or they might just dump it right out of their head. If your child is suffering in this way due to teachers, ask them to slow down for your child or organize the information differently.

Information Overload

  • Too Much Generalization of Information – Another symptom of information overload in kids is that they’ll tend to feel that the information isn’t important and put it into the “general” category in their minds. Which of course leads to missing important things like test dates, or leaving their coat or wallet in places they didn’t want to leave it.

  • Forgetting Information – When anyone including children gets too much information too fast, they just dump it. That leads to forgetting important information. A child might even forget to go to the bathroom due to the confusion in their brain if they’re young enough. Information overload can cause children to be handicapped from moving forward in their development if it’s not put under control.

  • Processing Incorrect Information – One of the worst things that happens to kids with information overload is that they process the information wrongly. For example, if you teach them how to factor numbers but throw a bunch of other irrelevant information at them at the same time, they’ll forget how to do it correctly.

  • Not Processing Any Information – Many children will just shut down and stop processing the information at all. These children are often considered lazy, or diagnosed with ADD or other disorders – the worst being ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). Many end up medicated when the only problem was that they were getting too much information too fast.

  • Having Night Terrors – Some children have serious repercussions to information overload, such as bed wetting and night terrors. These children are often perfectionists by nature and want to do well, but feel as if they just have too much to do and to know, so it shows up in their sleep.

  • Experiencing Headaches Often – Other children start getting headaches due to stress. Headaches in the neck and back of the head is a telling sign that your child is over-stressed and that it could be from information overload.

  • Showing Tiredness at School – Some kids just sleep when they’re stressed out. Information overload can make people tired, including children. If your child sleeps at night but seems to fall asleep anytime someone is trying to impart important information to them, look at their schedule and life to find out if it could be information overload.

You can lower the chances of your own child suffering from information overload by helping them avoid too much information. Getting plenty of down time without screens is one way to accomplish this. Plus, teaching your child to schedule and chunk information in a better way may cut down on the overload symptoms.

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