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Information overload? Most Americans say it’s not a problem

Not too much.
  • Michael J. Coren
By Michael J. Coren

Climate and emerging industries editor

Published This article is more than 2 years old.

If you feel like there’s too much information, you’re in the minority.

A Pew Research Center survey published Dec. 7 found most Americans report information overload is not a problem. The organization wanted to know if the exponential growth of digital media was weighing on people’s minds. The survey was conducted in April 2016 among 1,520 American adults.

Only about 20% of those surveyed say they feel overloaded, down from 27% a decade ago, and most (77%) like having information at their fingertips. Two-thirds even said it simplifies their lives.

A key factor seems to be the proliferation of mobile devices: People with “easy access” to devices—computers, smartphone and tablets—were far more confident managing data and media compared with those who have access to one or no such devices. Roughly half of this “low-access” population reported more stress and less confidence finding information.

Pew reports less educated, older, and poorer Americans were most likely to struggle. Only 13% of those between 18 and 29 years old reported feeling information overload compared with 31% of those 65 and older. No difference was seen by location with people in rural, suburban, and urban areas reporting similar results.

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