This new report examines how Americans feel about the Internet’s impact on their lives (90 percent of Internet users say the Internet has been a good thing for them), if it would be harder to give up the Internet or television (television won in 2006, but the Internet now has a commanding lead) and how the Internet impacts social relationships (it has made them stronger, most people say).
And, though it may seem like the Internet is basically nothing but trolls and hoaxes, only a quarter of people say they have been “treated unkindly” or attacked online. A big majority — 70 percent — say they have been treated kindly or generously online.
One particular thing jumped out at me. Over the past two decades, the percentage of Americans who use the Internet has skyrocketed (as you would expect). That number nearly doubled between 2000 and 2014. Still, even though the Internet seems ubiquitous, it’s still not a part of life for more than one in 10 adults in the United States:
Pew offers some additional details about this, noting that usage is much higher for people ages 18 to 29 (97 percent), folks with college degrees (also 97 percent) and individuals living in households that earn at least $75,000 (99 percent). More than two-thirds of adults (68 percent) access the Internet via smartphones or tablets.
Education and income continue to play a big role in computer usage. People with college degrees are much more likely to use computers (94 percent) than people with no college degrees or experience (66 percent); adults who earn less than $30,000 annually are much less likely to use a computer than people who make more than that amount.
These factors play a much smaller role in cellphone ownership, which has obviously become ubiquitous: Nine out of 10 American adults say they have a cellphone, while nearly six in 10 say they have smartphones. Age is the big dividing line on that front, as 26 percent of people 65 and older don’t have a cellphone (compared with 2 percent of people ages 18 to 29).
You can read the entire report right here.