The Power of the Internet

Home & Family, Technology
on July 30, 2011

No matter how you use the Internet—or even if you’ve never used it—the following nuggets of information should help you hold up your end of the conversation the next time the talk turns to technology.

  • More than 2 billion people use the Internet. That means about 30 percent of the world’s nearly 7 billion people are online.
  • Americans now spend as much time using the Internet as they do watching television.
  • The vast majority of Internet users turn to search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo! to find answers to common questions. The most popular search engine, Google, yields results for some 1 billion searches each day.
  • According to Yahoo!, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was the most searched topic last year—the first time that a news story has taken the No. 1 spot. The next most popular Yahoo! search topic was soccer’s World Cup, followed by queries for teen pop idol Miley Cyrus.
  • Of the 206 million American Internet users, 146 million—or 71 percent—stay connected to friends and family via the free social network website Facebook.
  • Eight percent of American adult Internet users use the free digital message-sharing service Twitter. “Twittering” is especially popular with young adults and city dwellers.
  • Thirty-six percent of adults living with chronic disease say they or someone they know have been helped by health information found on the Internet.
  • About 1.4 billion people worldwide use email to send digital messages and pictures to friends, family, co-workers and acquaintances.