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.

Recent Work

August 16, 2018 Most Americans Accept Genetic Engineering of Animals That Benefits Human Health, but Many Oppose Other Uses Americans' concerns about animal biotechnology focus on risks to animals, humans and the ecosystem.
July 26, 2018 Public Views of Gene Editing for Babies Depend on How It Would Be Used Americans are more likely to anticipate negative than positive effects from widespread use of gene-editing technology
July 11, 2018 Activism in the Social Media Age As the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag turns 5 years old, a look at its evolution on Twitter and how Americans view social media's impact on political and civic engagement
July 3, 2018 Stories From Experts About the Impact of Digital Life While many technology experts and scholars have concerns about the social, political and economic fallout from the spread of digital activities, they also tend to report that their own experience of digital life has been positive.
June 28, 2018 Public Attitudes Toward Technology Companies A majority of Republicans say technology firms support the views of liberals over conservatives and that social media platforms censor political viewpoints. Still, Americans tend to feel that these firms benefit them and – to a lesser degree – society.
May 31, 2018 Teens, Social Media & Technology 2018 YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat are the most popular online platforms among teens. Fully 95% of teens have access to a smartphone and 45% say they are online almost constantly.
April 30, 2018 Declining Majority of Online Adults Say the Internet Has Been Good for Society At the same time, the contours of connectivity are shifting: One-in-five Americans (20%) are now ‘smartphone only’ internet users at home.
April 17, 2018 The Future of Well-Being in a Tech-Saturated World Many experts say digital life will continue to expand people’s boundaries and opportunities. Yet nearly a third think that people’s overall well-being will be more harmed than helped in coming years.