Information Fatigue- The problem with apps

Come on – be honest with me. How many different communication platforms do you actually use? Facebook Messenger? Instagram? Texting? Email? Slack? The list can go on and on.



Chances are it’s more than three, but probably approaching more like the 5-7 range. Or maybe you’re like me and have over ten communication platforms you check daily. Checking them day in and day out is absolutely exhausting and the number of times I get “information overload” and want to throw my phone out the window is too damn high – and that’s just on a personal level.


When it comes to work related communication channels, the numbers are a little daunting. Back in 2019, the average company used 8 apps on average during their work week. In 2021, that number jumped to 80. That’s a 900% increase in two years, and with that a whole lot of information overload.

According to a study done in 2021, the average American spends 4.8 hours a day on their phones. That’s nearly a third of their waking hours every day. We’ve gotten to the point of being so connected so often, that using a multitude of apps every day is exhausting.


While I fully believe in the power a good application can have on business (and personal) growth, there is such a thing as too much in the software world. At some point, we start to lose track of where things are, who said what, and where we can go to find that one thing we were looking for last Tuesday before we got sidetracked.

Sound familiar? Information overload is a popular phrase right now, but it describes a very real problem that many working people face: too much/constant information impeding our ability to make good decisions and get shit done. As we get used to 80 apps per day, we get used to overusing our brain and after a while, this can turn into information fatigue.

Information fatigue is defined as the indifference or mental exhaustion arising from exposure to too much information. This can be extremely stress inducing as well, as the brain tries (and often fails) to compile excessive amounts of information into one thought.


The real trick of course is how to fix this problem. We could all delete every app we have and just start over, only picking and choosing apps that make the most sense or provide the most value – but that only works on a personal level. Most organizations choose the software or applications that they require you to use and your ability to trim those down is non-existent.

It’s up to the business owners, managers, and people of power within an organization to streamline communication so that nothing gets lost in the shuffle. That means finding new ways to combine multiple platforms or apps into one, making it easy for employees to know exactly where to go for what activity or communication.

Or we find one solution, that one app that helps solve multiple problems. Can you find one application to house your Time Off Requests, Schedule, Payroll information, and HR information instead of four? Can you find one application to house SOPs, New Hire Training, Skills Matrix, Safety Training, and Assessments instead of five?

Looking for ways to streamline your applications can help with information fatigue, and make it easier for you to find the information you need, when you need it. Which we could all use a little more of these days.


By Anna Haney

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