Information Overload

Much more than Germans, Americans suffer from a condition they call information overload. If Americans receive all of the information about a project right from the beginning, they’ll try to reduce the information by ignoring anything that doesn’t seem immediately important. Ultimately they will typically only remember the pieces that seem most pertinent to them.

When information is important, Americans tend to give it away in small pieces, stressing each item individually. This way, no matter how much the other person suffers from information overload he/she is certain to remember the material.

Information overload: an excess of incoming information, as might confront a pedestrian on a crowded city street, that forces one to be selective in the information received and retained; an overwhelming feeling upon the receipt or collection of an indigestible or incomprehensible amount of information, the feeling of being faced with an amount of data that one has no hope of completely processing.

This phrase was popularized by Alvin Toffler in 1970.