A recent study by the Global Information Industry of the University of California at San Diego looked at the year 2008 and tried to quantify how much information the average American consumes across all forms of media: TV, newspaper, internet and radio.
According to the report, Americans consumed information for 1.3 trillion hours last year, an average of almost 12 hours per day. Consumption totaled 3.6 zettabytes and 10,845 trillion words, corresponding to 100,500 words and 34 gigabytes for an average person on an average day.
The group defined "information" as flows of data delivered to people and measured the bytes, words, and hours of consumer information.
Hours of information consumption grew at 2.6 percent per year from 1980 to 2008, due to a combination of population growth and increasing hours per capita, from 7.4 to 11.8. More surprising is that information consumption in bytes increased at only 5.4 percent per year. Yet the capacity to process data has been driven by Moore's Law, rising at least 30 percent per year. One reason for the slow growth in bytes is that color TV changed little over that period. High-definition TV is increasing the number of bytes in TV programs, but slowly.
Check out the full study here.
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