Americans and the internet

By Darcy Schild

It's hard to imagine life without the internet. From meme culture to a president who tweets, even over the course of a few years, the internet has undoubtedly shaped how Americans consume news, communicate, connect and participate in everything from social movements to politics. In a series of surveys published in January 2018, the Pew Research Center uncovered how U.S. adults not only use the internet, but also how they perceive the internet and its effects on society.

Source: Pew Research Center, January 2018 Core Trends Survey

Source: Pew Research Center, January 2018 Core Trends Survey

In this chart, which illustrates how a sample of Americans ages 18 years and older perceive the internet's effects on society, it's clear the majority (65%) of respondents believed the internet has been a "good thing." However, according to results from previous surveys conducted by Pew Research Center, the percentage of adults who believe the internet has been "good" for society has declined by 6 percent since 2014, when the Center first asked this question in a survey.