As recently as 1995, 42 percent of American adults said they had never heard of the Internet.  Today, use of the Internet is pervasive at home, work, and on mobile devices.  It is a primary source of news, information, entertainment, and social interaction.  To understand its evolution, Pew conducts surveys and qualitative research that tracks and analyzes how Americans use digital technology, and the ways in which online activity affects their families, communities, health, educational pursuits, politics, and workplace activities.

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Publications – Pew Research Center: Internet, Science & Tech

  • Code-Dependent: Pros and Cons of the Algorithm Age

    • February 8, 2017

    Algorithms can save lives, make things easier and conquer chaos. But experts worry about governmental and corporate control of the data, and how algorithms can produce biased results and worsen digital divides. Read More

  • Americans and Cybersecurity

    • January 26, 2017

    Many Americans do not trust modern institutions to protect their personal data – even as they frequently neglect cybersecurity best practices in their own personal lives. Read More

  • ‘We the People’: Five Years of Online Petitions

    • December 28, 2016

    Americans used President Obama's "We the People" online petitioning system to address health care, veterans’ issues and illnesses among other issues. But the impact of petitions was modest and varied. Read More

  • Online Shopping and E-Commerce

    • December 19, 2016

    New technologies are impacting a wide range of Americans’ commercial behaviors, from the way they evaluate products and services to the way they pay for the things they buy. Read More

  • Information Overload

    • December 7, 2016

    Most Americans like their choices in today's information-saturated world. But 20% feel overloaded, and there are stresses for those with fewer pathways to the internet or who feel they are expected to do too much information gathering. Read More