The Average American Consumes 34 Gigabytes and 100,000 Words of Information

A study performed in 2008 by UC San Diego found that American households consumed ~3.6 Zettabytes of information in a year. Between 1980 and 2008, the annual growth rate of information consumption is 5.4 percent.

Statistics from UC San Diego.

When comparing recent technological advancement with the previous century, most of the biggest changes are simulation versus physical. For example, railroads and airplanes compared to networking and computers.