Information overload and news fatigue are creating a brutal landscape on the Internet
“Web users are getting more ruthless and selfish when they go online,” the BBC states in a review of a Jakob Nielsen report on Web habits. “Instead of dawdling on Web sites many users want simply to reach a site quickly, complete a task and leave.”
Many organizations’ Web sites are out-of-sync with their customers. Marketers think flashy graphics of smiling faces attract customers on the Web. Showing a smiling face to a typical Web customer is like showing a crucifix to a vampire.
Communicators have gone mad on the Web; publishing press releases and thinking people will actually read them. News is being devalued because huge quantities of trivia and vanity are being labeled as news.
A study (pdf) of young people’s news habits found that, “news fatigue brought many of the participants to a learned helplessness response. The more overwhelmed or unsatisfied they were, the less effort they were willing to put in.”