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53% of French people say they are exhausted by media overload.
MEDIA – Too much information. More than half of French people say they tired by news which are repeated in the media, reveals a study by the Obsoco observatory, in partnership with the Jean-Jaurés Foundation and Arte, published this Thursday, September 1. The survey even speaks of a “public and democratic health problem”.
The overload information has already been widely documented since the 1960s. In 1996, the American writer and filmmaker David Shenk gave it the name of“infobesity”. French scientist Joël de Rosnay, a specialist in the impact of new technologies on industries, described it as “a new form of pollution of the brains by the excess of information”. And the rise of 21st century technologies has amplified the phenomenon.
The fragmented media landscape no longer appeals
Indeed, the multiplication of supports poses a problem. Between television, radio, written press, but also smartphones and tablets, the French use on average more than 8 different sources to get information; every day they use 3.2. The info is everywhere and all the senses are solicited, which greatly tires the minds.
Thus, 53% of French people say they suffer from ” information fatigue”, of which “38% suffer a lot from it”, according to this study. They say they feel like they read the same information all day. Moreover, 59% of the French population believes that there is too much information in the media.
Among the most tired, half experience what is called FOMO, Fear of missing out, or the fear of missing information. This bulimia for news leads them to an incompressible need to click on titles ” even if they know in advance that it is futile information”. This compulsion affects 68% of the most tired.
From “information junkie” to the hyperconnected
To better understand the different forms of fatigue linked to information overload, the study distinguishes five profiles. The most common type is the “defiant oppressed” which represents 35% of the population. ” This profile is rather feminine with a modest standard of living and an average commitment to information, but with the feeling of being subjected to it, of having difficulty forming an opinion, of feeling overwhelmed by the information. indicates the Jean-Jaurés Foundation. These people are very wary of the media.
There are also the “exhausted hyperconnected”young, urban, mostly educated people, who are like “info junkie” they are unable to disconnect from what is happening on social networks in particular. But there are also older, masculine profiles, like the“hyperinformed in control” with a “intense information practice” traditional media (television, radio, newspapers).
This study also reveals that the younger generations are not alone in being able to feel tired when faced with the profusion of information. “Whatever the category of population or age, hyperconnection and overexposure to information do not guarantee the fact of being able to obtain information without difficulty or without consequences”, supports the authors.
It is therefore a global problem on which the media must look into. The French could indeed end up turning their backs on information, as evidenced by the survey carried out for the study: “77% of French people say that they sometimes limit or stop consulting information, including 28% regularly. And this is the case for 90% of the most tired. »
However, these figures still need to be qualified. For the majority of French people, getting information counts. For 59%, it is important to get regular information from the media and for 20% it is even ” Very important “.
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