Thanks to the World Wide Web, everything is literally at your fingertips. Anything and everything you want to know (or not know) can be accessed readily with just a click of a button. However, can too much information be bad for your health? According to Dr. Andrew Weil over at TIME Ideas, having too much data running around your head can lead to stress and, eventually, depression.

Weil cites a Swedish study conducted in 2005 to support his theory, which attributed stress, insomnia, and symptoms of depression to heavy use of communications technology.

Information overload would not be a problem if all the data we receive is of relevance to our lives. Unfortunately, a lot of the data we posses are not the type that can contribute to the betterment of society. Francis Heylighen, a cyberneticist at the Free University of Brussels, calls this "data smog." Not unlike real smog, useless and incomplete data can cloud our perspective or derail us from more pertinent information.

To counter data smog, it's important to screen the data you receive. While giving up computers and mobile phones is impossible in this era, you can at least minimize the amount of information garbage you receive. Consider getting rid of your junk mail or going at least one day without touching your computer. You can also spend more time with your family and less time with your gadgets. By keeping things simple, you can avoid suffering from too much information.


Find out more about stress by reading these articles:

(Photo by wag66 via sxc.hu)

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