Research outfit Reuters has found that more than half of business managers are becoming dangerously hooked on receiving information, in what could be seen as the latest post modern addiction.
The survey entitled Glued to the Screen: An Investigation into Information Addiction Worldwide, questioned a sample of 1,000 business managers from corporations in six countries worldwide, including the UK and US. Four out of five respondents believed the situation will get worse.
The Reuters survey claimed that 53 per cent of managers questioned craved information, while 54 per cent found their colleagues were frequently unable to handle the quantity of information they received.
Over half the managers - 54 per cent - felt their colleagues worry about making poor decisions, because the bulk of data they receive outweighs the time they have to read and interpret it.
But experts believe that the fears are exaggerated, and information overload must be distinguished from harmful addiction.
Chartered psychologist Mark Griffiths said: 'My view on this is it does not prove people are information addicts. Information addicts do exist, but I do not believe there are large numbers of sufferers.'
He added: 'Bona fide addiction is made up of the following components: salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms and conflicts.
In the Reuters survey there were no questions about withdrawal, or conflicts with other areas of life such as making compromises in relationships.'
Anne-Marie Highley, Reuter's UK marketing manager, said: 'We are not medical experts and we didn't set out to prove there is information addiction.'
She claimed proof of addiction had surfaced. 'The fact is that our report substantiates a claim that information addiction does exist and employers and employees should be made aware of this.'
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