information overload(redirected from Continuous Partial Attention)
Also found in: Medical.
When a person feels unable to read all the information that is presented or available to them, particularly where they need to make decisions based on that information but can't because there is just too much to take in in the time available.
information overloadA symptom of the high-tech age, which is too much information for one person to absorb in a world of expanding digital technology. It primarily comes from the gigantic amount of content on the Internet, including search engine results, blogs and social media. Web pages bombard the senses with ads, and junk e-mail (spam) adds chaos. Combine the digital information with the traditional sources such as TV, magazines, newsletters and junk postal mail, and information overload is a fact of modern life in the developed world. See digital vacation.
The Help Manuals Make It Worse
Information overload also includes the often indecipherable documentation that must be read to operate everything from a handheld device to a software application. It boils down to this: the volume of information that crossed our brains in one week at the end of the 20th century is more than a person received in a lifetime at the beginning of it. See user interface and RTFM.