A new survey from the Pew Research Center highlights that most Americans are grateful for the Internet for helping them learn new things, helping them stay better informed on important topics and increasing their ability to creations and ideas with others.

Americans’ largely positive views about the Internet show make it clear that enjoy having a huge database of information readily available, and that most are not overwhelmed by such a huge source of data.

The conclusions in the Pew report is based on data derived from a probability survey conducted online between September 12th and 18th of  this year, and includes 1,066 adult Internet users.

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Details on the Pew Internet report

One of the key results of the results of the Pew Internet survey was that 87% of respondents improved how they are able to learn new things, with 53% saying they had seen “a lot” of improvement. Respondents that are below 50 years old, live in households with higher incomes and have higher levels of educational attainment reported the most improvement.

In response to the question whether the massive amount of information available on the Internet is enjoyable, 72% said that it is, with respondents noting the Internet helped keep them better informed about subjects including products and services, national and international news and pop culture.

The survey noted 81% of the respondents have been better informed regarding products and services compared to five years ago because of the Internet. Most respondents also noted that they are better informed about national news (75%), international news (74%), pop culture (72%), their friends (67%) and their family (60%).

When it comes to activities sponsored by local and federal government agencies within their communities, only 49% responded that they have become better informed because of the Internet. The percentage decreases to 39% when asked if they were generally better informed about their neighbors and neighborhood.

The survey also reveals that 72% of users of the Internet see improvements in their ability to share their ideas and creations. That figure has increased significantly from just 55% in 2006.

Of note, respondents believe that American adults and students are generally better informed due to the Internet, with 76% replying that adults are better informed and 77% replying that students are better informed.

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Young users less convinced of the value of the Internet

One surprising conclusion of this year’s Pew Internet study is that more of young users of the Internet under age 30 believe that the Internet has not made adults and students better informed. According to the survey, 19% of young adults believe the Internet has made no impact, compared to 9% of the respondents older than 30.