Rather than crushing them with too much information and making it hard to find useful material, most Americans say the internet and cell phones have brought benefits in learning, sharing and diversifying the flow of information into their lives. A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that the vast majority of Americans believe their use of the web helps them learn new things, stay better informed on topics that matter to them, and increases their capacity to share ideas and creations with others.
These generally positive attitudes are buttressed by the view that people like having so much information at their fingertips, rather than feeling information overload. Moreover, this positive judgment extends to the broader culture. Most believe that average Americans and U.S. students are better informed than in the past.
The survey of 1,066 internet users shows that 87% of online adults say the internet and cell phones have improved their ability to learn new things, including 53% who say it has improved this “a lot.”1 Internet users under age 50, those in higher income households, and those with higher educational attainment are especially likely to say the internet and cell phones help them “a lot” when it comes to learning new things.
Asked if they enjoy having so much information at their fingertips or if they feel overloaded, 72% of internet users report they like having so much information, while just 26% say they feel overloaded.
Online Americans especially highlight how the internet and cell phones have made them better informed about products and services available for sale, national and international news, and popular culture. Asked if their internet use affected their being better informed on these issues compared with five years ago:
Products and services: 81% of online Americans report their internet and cell phone use has made them better informed about products and services today than they were five years ago.
Graph: Pew Research Center/Internet Project
To read the full story: http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/12/08/better-informed/?utm_source=Pew+Research+Center&utm_campaign=c5881fffa1-Better_Informed_120814&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3e953b9b70-c5881fffa1-399472837