The average daily information dumped on a social network user is 54,000 words, equivalent to the length of the average novel. That textual content is only 63 percent of the information dumped on every social network user on a daily basis.

Information overload is real, and it is a problem to health and productivity when abused. Anyone can simply look up for information on the amount of information published online daily, but we highly unlikely come across a research on the amount of daily information dumped on every user.

LikeHack, a social newsfeed reader, managed to do just that. With data from 3 million social accounts, LikeHack was able to monitor the average daily information dumped on each social network user. However, the website left off people who have severely anomalous characteristics from the data gathering process. For example, it excluded Twitter users and accounts subscribed to thousands of people because they obviously cannot keep up and read all the tweets.

The users included in the study consisted of people who work in Internet companies or own an online business, along with their friends. LikeHack fetched data for 12 hours to get a good measurement on the average amount of information received by a social network user. The study took into account the average length of articles and blogs at 300 words, and the average length of YouTube videos at 4 minutes and 12 seconds. This does not mean people spend the good part of 12 hours reading articles or watching videos. LikeHack said it shows the amount of daily information dumped on each user. In addition, social network users filter the information they receive to avoid spending too much energy going through all of the articles, photos, and videos.

Stalling on the Internet typically is linked to rich multimedia content, such as YouTube videos. As a result, reading articles gives us the impression of a productive activity. However, that is the heart of stalling or procrastination. Most social network users believe they are doing something worthwhile, but in reality, they get sidetracked or distracted from their original tasks. LikeHack said social network users tend to read and get too immersed on irrelevant information than what is necessary.

According to the study, nearly half of the user accounts received less than a hundred pieces of daily content. LikeHack said these are inactive accounts or people who disregard most social media content and talk only to a thin circle of friends. In addition, there are people who receive newsfeeds with thousands of pieces of content every day. LikeHack said they seem to only read the news, nothing more.

Here are the results of the study:

information overload from social media