The Internet has changed the breadth and speed in which Americans acquire information in areas such as news, encyclopedic knowledge and social awareness. For example, in one study, 69 percent of Americans reported having utilized laptops or computers to access news in the past week, according to the American Press Institute. 56 percent also reported having used a phone to do so, and 39 percent reported using a tablet. Those numbers would have been single digits 20 years ago.
Browsing the Internet, searching it and sharing on it has become a major activity for millions of Americans today. Americans use the Internet for communication via messenger applications and video conferencing programs. They e-mail instead of using the post. Many encyclopedias, research papers and ebooks are all available online for free or for a fee. People are acquiring degrees by studying and doing school work on the Internet. They can follow news outlets or favorite celebrities for immediate updates.
87 percent of American adults now use the Internet, and 68 percent do so via phones. 56 percent of Internet users have reported having seen an online group come together to help a person or community solve an issue, reports the Pew Institute in a 2014 study. 67 percent of Internet users consider online communications with friends and family to enrich their relationships.