October 22, 2013 – Twitter, Facebook, eBooks, news feeds, mobile apps are all information sources that didn’t exist just a few years ago, and they are changing the way the modern consumer processes information. These digital mediums have introduced to reading and to information a whole new level of scrolling, skimming and synopsizing. All of this has vast implications for the future of content and communication, including the future of books.

Barna Group’s new study uncovers three of the trends that are redefining the information age.

1) People feel modern life is accelerating and becoming more complex.

“It’s complicated” – this is how the majority of adults today describe modern life, according to Barna research. The increasing digitalization of life, economic pressures, the disintegration of the family, shifting moral moorings and many other factors all contribute to this shared sense of cultural acceleration. But whatever the reasons, two-thirds of adults today say the complexity of modern life is only growing.

Those who particularly feel these strains fall into one of two demographics, according to the survey. The first is those who lack certain social supports such as quality education, a stable or sufficient income, or a spouse with whom to face life’s challenges. Downscale adults, defined as those whose annual household income is less than $20,000 and who have never attended college, are the most likely to say life is getting more complicated (79%). In addition, those who make $40,000 or less per year (71%), those with a high school education or less (70%) and unmarried adults (70%) all feel this complexity more than the average adult.

The second group is people of faith. The research shows that among faith demographics, evangelicals (71%) and Catholics (71%) are the most likely to agree life is getting more complex. This may suggest that evangelicals and Catholics, who both subscribe to a precise set of community and theological convictions, are sensing a growing disparity between the rhythms and values of their faith and the demands of a rapidly changing culture. As a result, many look to sources of information that can reconcile that widening divide and offer the balm of clarity in the midst of a complex culture.

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