Classroom Technology Opinion

What Are You Doing About Infomania and FOMO?

By Patrick Larkin — January 26, 2016 1 min read
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As someone who spends a lot of time utilizing technological resources and trying to support educators who are trying to integrate them in a meaningful way with students, I also spend a lot of time wondering about what the perfect balance might be between using technology and not using technology. To be even more specific, I wonder if there is any way to know for sure how much time people waste online versus how much of their time is productive. I know that I have had times where I have suffered from fear of missing out (FOMO) and I wonder how much others suffer from this and how much it might be distracting them from the task at hand.

Living in a time where Digital Literacy is a critical component of our work in schools, we need to ensure that we are raising student awareness of their own behaviors. Of course to do this, we need have an awareness of our own propensity to be sidetracked by FOMO. Do you get anxious if you are away from Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, email, or some game-based app for a short period of time? If so, you may be suffering from Infomania which is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “the compulsive desire to check or accumulate news and information, typically via mobile phone or computer.”

It this is ringing a bell with you, I encourage you to jump on board with the Infomagical project from Manoush Zomorodi and the Note to Self podcast team. Check out the statistics below that the Note to Self team collected and take 25 minutes to listen to the podcast below on the Infomagical movement. A discussion surrounding Infomania needs to be a healthy part of our digital literacy curriculum so that our students can lead a more productive and satisfying existence.

In a survey of nearly 2,000 Note to Self listeners:

  • 60 percent said they feel like the amount of effort they must exert to stay up-to-date on a daily basis is “taxing.” Another 15 percent said it’s downright “impossible.”

  • 4 out of 5 said information overload affects their ability to learn.

  • 1 out of 3 said information overload was affecting their close relationships.

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