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'Data overload' is leaving UK users stressed and sleep-deprived

Information analysts Esri UK has released new findings saying that we are facing a "data overload" and are struggling to deal with the huge amounts of information at our fingertips.

The study questioned 1,000 adults across the country about the effects that the modern, ultra-connected world is having on their personal lives.

Being constantly connected to our email and social media accounts is resulting in increased stress levels, with 44 per cent of people saying today's digital culture is affecting our sleep and relationships and 36 per cent becoming anxious and unable to relax.

But what is the solution to these feelings? 44 per cent believe the best option is to switch off entirely and 14 per cent even go so far as to hide their connected devices to avoid temptation.

Consumer and business phychologist Dr Dimitrios Tsivrikos said: "Paying attention to a vast amount of data requires multitasking, rapidly switching attention from one source to another, which has been found to increase levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Receiving novel information activates the brain’s reward pathway, which leads to a continuous cycle in which we are compelled to seek out more and more information, eventually resulting in a state of restlessness."

He also believes that the solution is to move away from text in favour of image and graphic-based correspondence: "With an image it's easier for us to memorise and engage - we see that with the younger generation. We will see the end of long text-based emails – the days of heavy text are soon over."