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Average American consumes 100,000 words of info on a daily basis

NEW YORK - An academic study says that the average American consumes 34 gigabytes and 100,000 words of information on a daily basis, and estimates that this is well over three times as much as was consumed on average in 1980.

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The 'How Much Information?' study has been published by the University of California, San Diego, and looks at US media consumption ranging from a cinema visit and talking on a mobile phone, to computer games, internet surfing and listening to the radio.

It shows that television still dominates, taking up 41% of the total time spent consuming media. This is followed by the internet, which takes 16% of total time.

'How Much Information?' has come up with an astonishing headline figure of 3.6 zettabytes of information consumed by US households during 2008. A zettabyte is 1,000,000,000 trillion bytes and, to put the figure into some visual context, the university says that this is the equivalent of the amount of information contained in a stack of novels seven feet high covering the entire land mass of the US, including Alaska.

The University of California has published similar studies in the past but this time is the first to include computer games, taking up around 67% of all the bytes consumed. Approximately 80% of the population plays some kind of computer game.

Roger Bohn, director of the Global Information Industry Centre at UC San Diego's School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, said: "The total volume of 3.6 zettabytes consumed last year is much larger than previous studies have reported, partly because they measured different views of information, such as information creation rather than consumption. Also, nobody had looked at the role of computer games, which generate a staggering number of bytes."

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