As anyone who came back to a full inbox after Christmas will know, we’re rapidly reaching the point of information overload.
With information having historically been hard to come by, we’ve spent the first era of the internet building services that drown us in it. Whether improving access (search engines, websites) or communication (email, social networking) the internet has provided an abundance of information.
The most visible manifestations of information overload are the bright notifications and winking lights that demand our attention, but we increasingly also find ourselves drawn to feeds and streams of information as well, repeatedly checking back to see what’s new.
These messages used to be compartmentalized (ultimately, you could only check your email when you were near a computer) but the explosion in connected devices has changed this. While they’ve brought innumerable social and economic benefits, many of us find it increasingly hard to concentrate or focus for long periods of time.
Fortunately, technology is responding. Services like Instapaper and Little Printers are directly responding to our need to shape information and communication around our lives, rather than vice versa, while the likes of Undrip are attempting to reduce the noise and clutter inherent in social networking.
Expect products and services that help us cope with information overload (without negating the benefits) to grow more prominent this year and beyond: the first of GfK’s technology trends for 2013.
You can download a free copy of Tech Trends 2013 here.