How much data will humans create in a year?

Have you ever wondered about the amount of data we create each year?  Those of us who have grown up in a world where computers, the internet and social media where a part of the norm, have probably never given it a second thought.  However, if you stop to think about it, it’s astonishing how much data we actually create.  In 2011 alone, we created 1.8 zettabytes of data, and that number is said to double every two years.

1.8 zettabytes is not an amount many of us deal with on a regular basis. So let’s look at it another way. 1.8 zettabytes would be the equivalent of every person in the United States tweeting three tweets per minute, every minute for 26,976 years! It is also the equivalent of 200 billion HD movies, each 120 minutes long. If someone watched all those movies without a break it would take them 47 million years. Still unsure how much 1.8 zettabytes is? If we stored 1.8 zettabytes in 32GB Apple iPads, we would need 57.5 billion iPads. You could build a mountain of iPads that would be 25 times higher than Mt. Fuji. That many iPads laid end to end would be the length of 151,736,111 football fields or enough to circle the earth over 346 times!

These numbers may seem a little hard to believe but are they really? Think about it. There are over 500 million Facebook users, 200 million Twitter users, and over 100 million YouTube users. Not to mention Flickr, MySpace, LinkedIn, Vimeo, and all of the other social media sites.  Some of us blog and some of us browse the web. We’re constantly creating data. How much data do you create each year?


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