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The Web Turns 25: Notable Stats from a Quarter Century of Surfing the Web

It’s hard to believe but the World Wide Web is turning 25 this month on March 12, 2014. Now while the web and internet are not the same thing (seriously), the Pew Research Center is marking this quarter century anniversary with an updated look at how the internet has changed Americans’ lives. The full report is definitely worth reading. However, below I’ve highlighted some of the findings that stood out.

Usage:

  • 87% of adults use the internet
  • 68% of respondents connect to the internet with mobile devices
  • 58% report using smartphones
  • 81% use desktop or laptop computers at school, work, home, or some other location at least occasionally

“Most internet users think online communication has strengthened their relationships and the majority report the environment is kind” -“The Web at 25 in the U.S.” Pew Internet Research Project

Attitudes:

  • 53% believe giving up the internet would be difficult versus 35% who believe giving up television would be difficult
  • 61% of those who feel it would be difficult to give up the internet cite job-related or other reasons
  • 90% of Americans feel that the internet has had a positive impact on their life
  • 76% believe the internet has had a positive impact on society
  • 67% of internet users say their online communication with family and friends has generally strengthened those relationships,
  • this feeling cuts across a range of various age, education, and economic demographics
  • 76% encountered kindness online
  • 56% have witness online groups unite to help individuals or communities in need

The preceding statistics are only a very small portion of Pew’s findings. If you guessed that internet usage and attitudes about the internet vary according to factors like age; education; and income, then you’d be correct. You can learn more about these variations by reading the complete report.

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