Why did people avoid information during the COVID-19 pandemic? Understanding information sources' dynamics among Pakistani Z generation

Saira Hanif Soroya, Anthony Faiola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Purpose: Grounded in the stressor-strain-outcome model, this study aims to examine the impact of different information sources on information behavior among the Pakistani Z generation during the pandemic. Design/methodology/approach: The study was quantitative, with 344 responses collected from Gen Z (those born in the late 1990s) using an online survey. The proposed structural model was tested with the help of SmartPLS 3.3. Information sources were divided into four categories, i.e. conventional media, personal networks, social media and Internet use through official health websites. Findings: In the Pakistani context, conventional media was found to develop information overload among Zers, whereas social media and personal networks were positively associated with information anxiety. However, Internet use (official and medical websites) for health-related information-seeking significantly reduced information anxiety among people. None of these information sources are the reason for information avoidance but the sources affect either the independent predictor of information avoidance or the mediators. Whereas information overload is a predictor of information anxiety and information, anxiety is a mediator between information overload and avoidance behavior. Research limitations/implications: To avoid the negative consequences of abundant information, the authors need to promote and encourage the use of authentic information sources to make Gen Z skeptical, independent, critical and scientific thinkers. Originality/value: Information sources' dynamics in terms of negative consequences of abundant information has not been explored previously at this magnitude, particularly from the perspective of a developing country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-247
Number of pages19
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 18 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Information discontinuous
  • Information overload
  • Information sources' dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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