Americans consume 34 gigabytes of information per day: study

Americans consume 34 gigabytes of information per day: studyA study has found that Americans spend around 11.8 hours a day consuming information in one way or another, and that collectively adds up to 34 gigabytes and 100,000 words of information per day.

Most of this information comes our way from staring at a screen of some sort, and the study by the University of California, San Diego discovered that American households collectively consumed an almighty 3.6 zettabytes of information in 2008.

What’s a zettabyte, you may ask? Well, it was a new one on us, but an article in the New York times has a stab of explaining the enormity of the thing:

It’s essentially one billion trillion bytes: a 1 with 21 zeros at the end. To put that into perspective, one exabyte — which equals 1/1000 of a zettabyte or 1 billion gigabytes — is roughly equivalent to the capacity of 5.1 million computer hard drives, or all the hard drives in Minnesota.

Americans consume 34 gigabytes of information per day: study

Why can’t quite comprehend comparisons inviolving all the hard drives in Minnesota, but we guess we’re talking about quite a few.

The report loads up a few caveats to its figures though, saying that we don’t actually read 100,000 words a day, but that amount of words cross our eyes and ears in a single 24-hour period, via TV, radio, the Web, text messages and video games.

All these figures are making our heads hurt – and to be honest we’re not entirely convinced here – but you can read more on the [NY Times].