Survey: Americans not experiencing internet information overload

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A survey of internet users in the US showed that the majority of people like having the internet’s resources right within their reach, while only a small fraction felt overwhelmed by the vast amount of data available online.

In the survey, 72 per cent of the respondents said they were happy to have access to so much information, while 26 per cent felt overloaded.

“We have asked this ‘information overload’ question since the beginning of our research in 2000 and have consistently found the same thing: Americans like lots of information choices and don’t feel particularly oppressed by the growing flows of material into their lives,” said Pew Research Internet Project Director Lee Rainie.

The survey also showed that 87 per cent of internet users believed the internet has helped improve their ability to learn new things, while three fourths said the internet has made them feel better informed about international and national news as well as pop culture.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of those surveyed said online tools helped them keep up with their family better, while 67 per cent felt these tools kept them better informed about their friends.

The report also noted that the majority of respondents believe that digital technologies helped improve their ability to share creations and ideas with others.

77 per cent of internet users said the Web kept students more informed, while a mere 8 per cent believe online access has made the students less well-informed.

Interestingly, respondents younger than 30 were less impressed by the Web’s value, with 19 per cent of the group saying that the internet made little impact on students, compared to 9 per cent of those older than 30.

The survey polled 1,066 adult internet users from 12-18 September.


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