Americans consumer 34 gigabytes of data per day…

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by Mike
Posted December 9th, 2009 at 11:47 am

What good would it do you to know how much the typical American consumers in digital data per day? In actuality, I can’t see any benefit at all unless of course you would use it as an interesting factoid for an icebreaker on a date. But chances are if you start off your date with “Guess how much Americans consumers consume in data per year?”, I can guarantee you’ll be going home alone and not so happy, ultimately crawling into a lonely, cold bed. Hey, that’s just the way it works. Now if you’re like me, for a split second — split second — I wondered how on earth I consumed 34GB of data per day. I know for a fact my measly 3Mb AT&T DSL connection would choke and die if I tried downloading that much in one day, the cable melting into a faint strand of the metals and synthetic material that once comprised an actual cable. It’s all in how you define “data”.

In the report by the University of California, San Diego , data consumed by Americans counted not only those on a computer screen (the typical figure you’d consider) but also took into account the tens of thousands we read each day on physical material, the multitudes of spoken word we hear, and the wide array of video services that bombard our senses on a daily basis.

Now, considering everything I read, hear, and watch in a day makes more sense and gets me a lot closer to that 34GB figure than I initially thought. It’s interesting to read over such reports and see how these various people get these numbers. Does every person take in 34GB of data? Probably not as there will always be extremes on both ends. Investigations and studies such as this and several others (remember “How heavy is the internet?” are cool and all, but in the end they’re not too terribly accurate.

What would you estimate your daily data usage rate is…?

NYT

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