Pregnant women are at risk… From the internet.
New research has found ‘information overload’ is causing pregnant women to forget the basics.
Between mummy bloggers, health websites and baby and toddler e-magazines, all the noise around pregnancy – prohibiting everything from soft cheese to bean sprouts, stressing women on the exact dangers of being stressed, and touting the benefits of classical music on the intellect of the future bub – has has left mums-to-be reeling.
The consequence? Women are forgetting the basics. Almost 80% of women drink while pregnant, and 30% continue smoking.
“There are more rules and regulations and more recommendations than women have ever had before,” Deborah Loxton, deputy director of Australian Longitudinal Study, which examined 58,000 women across four age groups, told 10 News. “There’s nothing there that communicates what is the most important thing to do.”
Pregnant women aren’t the only ones affected.
You want to know the answer to a problem. Maybe you’re researching an article, or feeling unwell, maybe you need to know the best way to travel from one place to another… Whatever it is, your eyes are Google.
Until you see an article about the most frequently used slang terms for milk (how many could there possibly be? You need to know this, the bus timetables can wait).
Or until you become overwhelmed by the ridiculous number of resources with information on the topic ‘information overload’.
Or until you close the laptop in sheer terror, convinced your stomach ache is actually a case of gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Here are some quick stats:
- We (the average internet users) receive around 63,000 words of new information, each day.
- We check around 40 websites a day.
- We switch programs 36 times an hour – or change tasks more than once every two minutes.
The internet presents us with an entire universe of information. Obviously there are benefits to this; it means we’re more connected, informed, empowered than ever before. But it also changes the way we behave or, in some cases, don’t behave.
There are two ways this might occur:
In one instance, we become arrogant in the amount of information we have at our disposal, that we stop asking ourselves questions (“I’ll just Google it”); fail to seek out help; or become convinced of truths that are 100% wrong (anti-vaccination forums, anyone?).
Alternatively, we become stunned into inaction or ignorance because of the amount and diversity of information we are confronted with. Pregnant women are case in point.