Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Stats about Internet Use

Well, I'm back from the ACRL Conference and will hopefully be posting about that soon, but for now, I'm reading a very interesting summary of the 2007 Digital Future Report from Center For The Digital Future. They survey more than 2,000 individuals in the U.S. and have interviewed the same people over 6 years in order to collect longitudinal data.

Some interesting statistics:
  • 37% of those polled still access the Internet through a dial-up telephone modem. Yuck!
  • 50% access it through broadband
  • 51.1% are buying online
  • 86.8% of those 16 and over express at least some concern about providing their personal info when buying online
  • 69.7% of all Americans use email
  • Users who use the internet for work say they are actively doing so for an average of 7.8 hours per week (that's it!?)
However, the statistic that completely horrified me, quoted directly from the summary [bolding mine], is:
Information on the Internet: is it reliable and accurate? -- The number of users who believe that most or all of the information on the Internet is reliable and accurate grew sharply over 2005, reversing a three-year decline. Well over half of users (55.2 percent) say that most or all of the information online is reliable and accurate – up from 48.8 percent in 2005, but still below the peak in 2001 (58 percent).


Paul said...

"Well over half of users (55.2 percent) say that most or all of the information online is reliable and accurate"

I hope this has more to do with misconceptions about what the Internet is and what they access than people truly believing that information on uncyclopedia is truthful. Maybe they are just people mistaking their corporate LAN for the Internet. At least I hope that's what's happening.

Kat said...

I sure hope so too, but my experience with students often suggests otherwise. Not that they'd necessarily believe things on uncyclopedia, but if they do a Google search for their topic, that first link is just great!