Grasping for a term that encapsulates the notion of struggling against and being overwhelmed by a torrent of information, which invokes 'The Paradox of Choice' or 'Choice Paralysis,' and falls under the format "a tragedy of errors;" "an embarrassment of riches:"

"a ________ of information."

Trying to avoid dealing exclusively with quantity, such as with 'plethora' or 'explosion,' and speaking more to the inability to fully take in what is being provided.

  • Something like a Babel, perhaps? – Rob_Ster Dec 23 '17 at 4:23
  • 6
    information overload – Dan Bron Dec 23 '17 at 4:27
  • 1
    Sensory overload - a common malady at Christmastime. – Oldbag Dec 23 '17 at 12:41
  • 2
    I like Dan's suggestion (right on the money) but you could also try drinking from the fire hose. Something of a cliché now though. – Will Crawford Dec 23 '17 at 13:10
  • 1
    Firehose is one common metaphor for this. – Hot Licks Apr 23 '18 at 1:37

You could use the word "inundation".

An inundation of information.

From Oxford Dictionaries Online:




An overwhelming abundance of people or things.

‘For some reason, it doesn't seems to suffer from the same inundation of spam that the other site does.’


A torrent of information. - connotations of overwhelming flood like a river.

Maybe, a surfeit of information. - connotation of too much information.


Rather than overload, call it an overflow of information:


    the number of people or things that goes over a limit

Collins English Dictionary:

    The overflow is the extra people or things that something cannot contain or deal with because it is not large enough.
    Tents have been set up next to hospitals to handle the overflow.
    The loch’s overflow cascades into the waterfalls of a Japanese water garden.

Oxford Dictionaries:

    (Computing)  The generation of a number or some other data item that is too large for an assigned location or memory space.

In your question, you speak of “the notion of struggling against and being overwhelmed by a torrent of information, …”  My favorite phrase relating to that is “too much analysis leads to paralysis”, which I heard for the first time on an otherwise long-forgotten TV show.  And, if you’re thinking “torrent”, then a “flow”-related word seems especially appropriate.


I'm surprised no one has suggested tsunami:

a great sea wave produced especially by submarine earth movement or volcanic eruption : tidal wave


The term is often used figuratively with regard to information: http://www.creativeteachingsite.com/tsunami.htm


torrent TFD

A heavy, uncontrolled flow

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.