In general, I find that people’s Actual Awareness of News correlates with How Aware They Claim They Are Of News according to the following chart.

What People Mean When They Say ‘I Keep Up With The News’

Now there’s data to back me up.

According to a new study conducted by the Media Insight Project, Americans are more excited about keeping up with the news than ever! Eighty-eight percent of us said that we enjoyed it — either “some” or “a lot.” Women reported marginally less enjoyment than men, even though we kept up with exactly the same amount of news. (Women, stop reporting less enjoyment! You are getting just as much! You no longer have to pretend to be a passive consumer of information.)

Unfortunately, this enjoyment of news — we get it all day long! We get it from a variety of sources! We like it, either a lot or just some! — does not translate to, er, actually reading more than the headlines of the stories in question, at least for six out of 10 consumers of news. And those are just the ones who will tell the truth to an anonymous phone surveyor.

In the good-news zone, people do more follow-up and spend more time each day keeping up with the news than I would have guessed. A hardy group of younger people (55 percent) love following up in-depth on breaking news stories. And 49 percent of people of all ages insist they are actively going back and reading up more on stories that interest them. At any rate, they admitted to doing so on the telephone when somebody called. No one admitted to actually wanting or liking news about celebrities, so someone must be forcing them to click on all those Bieber headlines against their will. This would not surprise me.

Generationally, people get the news differently. Old people are, true to form, completely OBSESSED with the weather and love themselves some local TV news. Traffic and weather are something 84 percent of people try to keep up with, but a full 95 percent of those 60 and over follow it.

Young people don’t care about schools and education! Yeah, stick it to the system, young people. Radio is most favored by people from 40 to 59. That explains so much about radio!

More Republicans got news from cable than Democrats; more Democrats got and trusted news from broadcast and wire services than Republicans, only four out of 10 of whom found the wire services reliable.

Other fun facts include: “Fully 50 percent of Americans who have completed college or graduate school report that they had a paid subscription to a newspaper website, compared to 34 percent of Americans who have completed high school or some college. Fifty-five percent of Americans who have completed college or graduate school report that they have a paid subscription to a print magazine, compared to 33 percent of Americans who have completed high school or some college.”

Thanks, colleges of America! I knew all that higher education was good for something: specifically, making you feel guilty that you hadn’t read the New Yorker.

Was that fun for you? I hope it was fun. According to the study, people who think following the news is fun are more likely to pay for subscriptions.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day.