This is how I feel: too much random information online, very hard to find what you are really interested in, being annoyed by having to sift through the random photos and poorly written pieces, or pieces that recur too much. The abundance of often false opinions being pushed down your throat.

Is there a term that describes this information oversaturation causing the feeling of fatigue?

  • Please can you clarify whether you want a term to describe how it feels to be in the condition of being oversaturated with information (i.e. ennervated befuddlement) OR, an idiomatic synonym for information oversaturation.
    – Dan
    Feb 19, 2016 at 1:05
  • 4
    information overload
    – Drew
    Feb 19, 2016 at 1:09
  • 2
    Information Overflow... Infonami (Information + tsunami)... Big Data Bomb
    – BiscuitBoy
    Feb 19, 2016 at 9:21
  • Seems like you can make one up if you want.
    – user116032
    Feb 20, 2016 at 1:34
  • "plethora/profusion/overabundance/deluge of information.
    – Graffito
    Feb 20, 2016 at 22:19

15 Answers 15


Information overload (also known as infobesity or infoxication):

  • refers to the difficulty a person can have understanding an issue and making decisions that can be caused by the presence of too much information. The term is popularized by Alvin Toffler in his bestselling 1970 book Future Shock, but is mentioned in a 1964 book by Bertram Gross, The Managing of Organizations.

Speier et al. (1999) stated:

  • Information overload occurs when the amount of input to a system exceeds its processing capacity. Decision makers have fairly limited cognitive processing capacity. Consequently, when information overload occurs, it is likely that a reduction in decision quality will occur.


  • 2
    A related concept is tyranny of choice.
    – Marthaª
    Feb 18, 2016 at 23:54
  • 4
    I think it's useful to note that this is an extension of the concept of sensory overload, which dates back to the early 20th century.
    – recognizer
    Feb 19, 2016 at 17:03
  • Bing calls it search overload: their commercial.
    – Mazura
    Feb 21, 2016 at 17:39
  • I know you put them in brackets but I think it would be better to explicitly note that infobesity and infoxication are less serious terms. Feb 22, 2016 at 10:20
  • Seriously? 63 upvotes? Now you're just showing off, Josh61! ;-) Feb 23, 2016 at 23:40

"Infoglut" is another alternative to "information overload".

Infoglut as defined by BusinessDictionary.com:

Information glut. Masses of continuously increasing information, so poorly catalogued or organized (or not organized at all) that it is almost impossible to navigate through them to search or draw any conclusion or meaning.

Read more: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/infoglut.html#ixzz40YP6OiN1

  • 1
    Who on earth thinks up these ridiculous words! Probably some computer nerd. The sad thing is that they find their way into mainstream dictionaries. It wouldn't happen with French.
    – BillJ
    Feb 18, 2016 at 20:38
  • 1
    What @BillJ? You didn't have a problem with "infobesity" or "infoxication"? lol! Just upvote my answer and all will be forgiven! ;-) Feb 18, 2016 at 20:41
  • 2
    It makes me think of that hilarious episode of Blackadder where Edmund tells Samuel Johnson that he's omitted the words "pericombobulation" and "contrafibularities" from his famous dictionary. "But they're common words down my way", he goes on to say, much to Johnson's annoyance.
    – BillJ
    Feb 18, 2016 at 20:56
  • 2
    English speakers are lucky, Russian has the real lexical doomsday, or is it Lexigeddon? :-) They continuously adopt English words, one can't even tell if some word is real one or not any more. Feb 18, 2016 at 21:12
  • 2
    Infoglut of infotrash causes infostress and infoxication. Feb 18, 2016 at 22:46

You are inundated with information.


  • overwhelm (someone) with things or people to be dealt with.
    • "we've been inundated with complaints from listeners"
    • synonyms: overwhelm, overrun, overload, bog down, swamp, besiege, snow under, bombard, glut
  • flood
    • "the islands may be the first to be inundated as sea levels rise"
    • synonyms: flood, deluge, overrun, swamp, drown, submerge, engulf
  • This is good, but I think "overwhelmed" is another good choice.
    – Tony Ennis
    Feb 21, 2016 at 13:57

I think the phrase "paralysis by analysis" encapsulates the feeling of being overwhelmed by an abundance of information.

Wikipedia has a thorough explanation.


  • 2
    That's not terrible, but I think that applies more to thinking too much, rather than being provided too much information. This can happen if two choices are simply too similar.
    – DCShannon
    Feb 19, 2016 at 17:06
  • 1
    Not only is it not terrible, but I think it's rather good. But I have to agree with @DCShannon; it's not an answer to the question asked. It's about being incapable of deciding what to do based on over-thinking the information available, not (necessarily) having too much information. I'm not going to downvote it because it's tangentially relevant, but can't upvote it either.
    – Alan K
    Feb 19, 2016 at 18:48
  • I think "overwhelmed" is the right word.
    – Tony Ennis
    Feb 21, 2016 at 13:57

'snowed under' is associated with helplessness; and appropriately, the 'snow' has become a simple bulk instead of many individually unique snowflakes.

  • "Snowed under" typically connotes having so much work to do that you can't cope. I guess you could be snowed under with information, but by itself it doesn't connote having too much data at your disposal. Feb 28 at 17:41

Infobesity or infoxication are great choices. Based on "infoflation" (inflation of information), I sometimes feel infoflated. The neologism infoflation is associated to an unpublished paper, part of a lecture at LSE, by Sophia Kaitatzi-Whitlock, 2008, Web 2.0 Interactive: the rise of popular agency and its impact.




One is the "Infobog," where people are so overwhelmed by information and e-mail messages that they lose their productivity. Times - UNT Digital Library

data slam

Meaningless pieces of data which can clog corporate intranet sites and databases. They make systems slow, unwieldy and difficult to navigate. In the process, they slow down decision making. Larapedia


The exponential growth of information Wiki

  • Some nice finds there!
    – Silverfish
    Feb 20, 2016 at 14:24

You seem to be asking about a way to describe not just being overloaded with information, but being unable to find the valuable or interesting information you want due to the vast amount of unrelated, low quality, or downright misleading material in your way. You're also asking not just for a single word, but also a "phrase" according to your tag. Therefore, I offer:

separating the wheat from the chaff

There's so much garbage on the internet these days that it's hard to separate the wheat from the chaff when you search for medical information.

also: gold among the dross

It's hard to find the gold among the dross on the internet these days - there are just so many false stories.

If the information you're looking for is some sort of singular fact, you can use the phrase "finding a needle in a haystack" to indicate the difficulty of the search for a single item among a vast array of similar things. However, you generally would not use this phrase to describe searching for a set or group of things, or a class of information.


How about bamboozled? Or, disempowered.

It often feels that the rising tide of information around us serves primarily to disempower and bamboozle us into passive acquiescence.

Disempower - to divest or deprive of power conferred.

Bamboozle - to deceive by trickery, hoax, cozen, impose upon (OED).

  • 1
    I dunno - do you really think there's some major conspiracy to purposely overload us with information for some nefarious reason? Feb 18, 2016 at 23:14
  • @KristinaLopez - No I suppose not... (although too much poorly catalogued, unprocessed, contradictory information can certainly make it difficult to think straight).
    – Dan
    Feb 19, 2016 at 0:59

Most simply, you are buried in information.


The acronym DRIP comes to mind. It stands for Data Rich, Information Poor and means that you have a ton of data but no understanding of what it all means.


TILT, a la the pinball machine lockout mode .


This condition of "information oversaturation causing [a] feeling of fatigue" pre-dates the World Wide Web. A student in a Far Side cartoon felt like this. So he said, "My brain is full."


The acronym tmi comes to mind. It is in common usage, meaning "too much information." Common in chat.



Decision fatigue would be the term describing the state of mind after too much information. A state of mind constantly produced and abused by the mass media.

  • 2
    Surely decision fatigue is fatigue caused by making too many decisions?
    – AndyT
    Feb 19, 2016 at 17:06
  • No, it is a state of mind, in which it likes to take short cuts to come to a decision instead of investigating the whole topic. The fatigue which leads to this is caused by too much information without processing it properly.
    – Thomas
    Feb 29, 2016 at 18:44

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