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Bloody hell, that’s a lot of information

My feeling of technogeek euphoria that I got last month when Google doubled the size of their index [1] has quickly evaporated as I perused Berkeley’s “How Much Information” study [2]. Here’s some stats that will blow you away:

What I found even more amazing (and depressing) is the degree to which we consume this data. We are a society of
information junkies. Witness this from the same report:

Published studies on media use say that the average American adult uses the telephone 16.17 hours a month, listens to radio 90 hours a month, and watches TV 131 hours a month. About 53% of the U.S. population uses the Internet, averaging 25 hours and 25 minutes a month at home, and 74 hours and 26 minutes a month at work — about 13% of the time.

I can’t imagine sitting in front of the ‘idiot box’ for 131 hours a month. What a terrible waste of one’s life. For an average person, that’s something like 7 years of your life — gone.

Dave of the excellent PassingNotes.com [3] blog looks at it [4] this way:

IF you were all of those things, then of the 720 average hours in a given month, of which you should be sleeping circa 200 (give or take a few hundred), then you’d basically be occupied by media (in some form) for over 330 hours per month – and since we spend about one-third of our lives ‘waiting for something to happen’ (bus, phone etc) and about another 20-40 hours per month in a bathroom (much higher for ted kennedy), then discount sleep, and you’ve got about 80ish hours to be a genuine, sentient human being…sad, sad world…

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