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Mary Meeker at Code Con. Photo: Asa Mathat for Vox Media

Today, more than half of the global population uses the internet, and while many see the technology as a positive tool, there are growing concerns about over-use, per the latest Internet Trends report by Mary Meeker, Bond Capital managing partner and "Queen of the 'Net."

Why it matters: Businesses are adapting to — and even building tools for — users limiting their use of mobile devices and online apps like video streaming and social media.

By the numbers:

  • 51% of the world — or 3.8 billion people — were internet users last year, up from 49% (3.6 billion) in 2017 and only 24% in 2009. Growth slowed to about 6% in 2018.
  • The percentage of U.S. adults who say they're "almost always online" has grown from 21% three years ago to 26%.
  • The percentage of U.S. adults trying to limit personal smartphone use has grown from 47% in 2017 to 63% in 2018.
  • Apple, Google, Facebook, and YouTube have all rolled out tools to help users monitor their usage.
  • People are more concerned about privacy than a year ago (but these high concerns are moderating).
  • Encrypted messaging and Web traffic are rising.
  • And yet, U.S. users still view the internet as a positive for themselves (88%) and society (70%), though both metrics have slightly decreased since 2014.

Go deeper: Check out the full deck here.

Go deeper

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Image: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

4 hours ago - World

Zelensky questions U.S. warnings of "imminent" invasion in Biden call

Biden and Zelensky at the White House last October. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

President Biden and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had a back-and-forth in their call this evening about just how "imminent" the threat of a Russian invasion might be, according to three sources briefed on the call.

Why it matters: Biden has said previously that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin will probably "move in" to Ukraine, and White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday afternoon that "an invasion could come at any time."

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