Information overload?

I remember seeing a report some years ago that said that with email and everything that was on line (which in retrospect was practically nothing) Americans consumed close to one terrabyte of information per year – a phenomenal and unfathomable number.  That was then.  This week, a report by UC San Diego calculated that US households (that’s households, mind you, not businesses) collectively consumed 3.6 zettabytes of information in 2008.  My first question, and probably yours, too, is how big is a zettabyte? If I read it correctly, a zettabyte is a billion trillion bytes.  Talk about unfathomable. To make it more comprehensive, on an average day, an average American consumes 34 gigabytes and 100,000 words of information.  This is information that comes through television, computers, radio, telephone, computer games, movies, and print.  We consume information for close to 12 hours a day, most of it in front of some sort of screen (like you’re doing right now, probably).  It’s really rather fascinating. And here’s where it all comes from:

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