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Study: People feel better informed than 5 years ago

Instead of feeling burdened by the amount of information available in the digital age, a new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that a majority of Americans believe that new technology has "brought benefits in learning, sharing and diversifying the flow of information into their lives."

Source: Pew Research Center

Out of the 1,066 people polled, 87 percent of users said the internet and cell phones have improved their ability to learn new things, according to Pew. When asked if they felt overloaded by information, 72 percent of internet users reported that they enjoy having access to so much information. Only 26 percent of users say they feel overwhelmed.

The study breaks down the areas in which people feel the most informed compared to five years ago.

Most people (81 percent) feel better informed about products and services to buy. Fewer people think the internet and cell phones have made them more informed about government activities (49 percent) and their neighbors (39 percent).

Sharing was another big factor addressed in the study. Pew found that 72 percent of internet users say digital technologies have improved their ability to share their ideas. In 2006, only 55 percent of people reported feeling this way, a jump that is likely due to the rise of social media.

Source: Pew Research Center

59 percent of users who live in households with incomes of $75,000 or more said the internet and cell phones have helped them "a lot" to learn new things. In households with incomes below $30,000, that number drops to 44 percent. When Pew looked at education as a factor, 60 percent of users who have attended or graduated college felt like they had learned "a lot," compared to 43 percent of those who did not.

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