A large majority of Americans believe the Internet and cellphones make them better informed and improve their ability to learn.

While it seems that Americans are somewhat misinformed, at least according to the Index of Ignorance, a large majority of Americans believe the Internet and cellphones make them better informed and improve their ability to learn, while increasing their capacity to share ideas and creations with others. According to a Pew Research Center survey of 1,066 Internet users, three-quarters say access to the Internet has made the average American better informed.

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The largest majority of respondents (81 percent) feel better informed about which products and services to buy than they did five years ago thanks to digital technology. Indeed, the ability of consumers to research products, prices, corporate practices and more—often at point of purchase—has given rise to a highly savvy, confident and demanding consumer.

Around three-quarters of Americans feel better informed about national and international news and pop culture, although digital tech is making less of an impact on the local level: Only 49 percent say they are better informed about civic and government activities in their community, and 39 percent about their neighborhood and neighbors. People also feel the Internet has improved their ability to share ideas and creations: 72 percent of Internet users agree, compared with only 55 percent in 2006, likely due to the proliferation of social media over these years.

Despite the potential for information overload—which is helping to spur an impetus to unplug from technology at times—most Internet users don’t seem to be fazed by this prospect: 72 percent say they like having all the information the Internet can provide at their fingertips, versus 26 percent who feel overloaded.

Image: Via projectinvested