TMI? Americans Take In 34 Gigs of Data A Day



Monty Python EatNo wonder I have had this feeling lately that I am always full and the waistline is expanding a bit. It’s all this information and data that I am ingesting on a daily basis. Boy, if only limiting my data intake time would make the waistline go away I’d be there in a heartbeat but I digress. We all know that the average person is taking in more information on a daily basis than ever before but just how much is too much?

According to the New York Times:

The average American consumes about 34 gigabytes of data and information each day — an increase of about 350 percent over nearly three decades according to a report published Wednesday by researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

According to calculations in the report, that daily information diet includes about 100,000 words, both those read in print and on the Web as well as those heard on television and the radio. By comparison, Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” contains about 460,000 words.

Phew! Sounds like a lot of stuff to stuff in. Now to be fair, this amount of information is not exclusively confined to the online space. The study looks at television, radio, the Web, text messages and video games. Now, I am not an online gamer so that last one has me a little bit confused since that activity often appears to serve the opposite effect of draining someone’s brain so feel free to yell at me and tell me I am wrong.

Television (another fine brain extraction tool which has done its damage on me over the years) takes up the first place in time committed daily that creates information overload clocking in at 5 hours a day.

Second is radio, which the average American listens to for about 2.2 hours a day. The computer comes in third, at just under two hours a day. Video games take up about an hour, and reading takes up 36 minutes.

While the report says that the printed word gets less attention the reality is that people are reading more than ever because of their online habits. Also, there is the phenomenon of much of this activity happening simultaneously as in texting while watching TV. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.

As Internet marketers these studies are important because there is just a ridiculous amount of competition for peoples’ attention. The resulting din of data and noise makes it even more important to find a way to get people at a time when THEY are ready to hear your message. The old intrusive selling model is growing less and less effective because people actually control their time more than ever as it relates to media. They engage when they want to engage where they want to engage. It used to be that you take what you get. Those days are gone.

So what is your technique to cut through the noise? Is the level of noise going to continue to increase thus making it more daunting to cut through or will there come a time when a person says “I can’t eat another gig!”

What’s your take?

  • http://www.ebrand.co.il Maor Kaplanski

    That’s interesting, but more interesting would be to know how much information people are spreading and distributing daily. Obviously it would be less, but I’m sure the numbers will be high.
    .-= Maor Kaplasnki´s last undefined ..If you register your site for free at =-.

  • http://www.marketingpilgrim.com Andy Beal

    There’s always room for just a tiny wafer-thin mint! ;-)

    • http://www.frankthinking.com Frank Reed

      I have read that the production of that scene was so gross that there was , as Wayne of Wayne’s World says, a ‘peristaltic reaction’. Sounds like Python kinda fun!
      .-= Frank Reed´s last blog ..The Real Physical Dangers of Social Media =-.

  • http://ericungs.com/ Eric Ungs

    My technique is my Google Reader, and Twitter. But even my reader is extremely overwhelming. I find myself unsubscribing, once every month or so, to those I haven’t paid much attention to throughout the month. But then on the other end I usually come across new blogs and subscribe to those feeds. I think there will definitely always be data overload and it’s finding the tools and systems that best work for your own experience to try and cut through it. So this leaves quite the pursuit for marketers.

    Thanks.
    @EricUngs