A revealing study from Cisco suggests the Internet has become such an integral part of our lives that it is deemed as important to our functionality as water, food or air. An international workforce study by Cisco revealed that one in three college students and young professionals, the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, also found that more than half of the study’s respondents say they could not live without the Internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives” in some cases more integral than cars, dating, and horror of horrors–partying.
One of every three college students and employees surveyed globally (33 percent) believes the Internet is a fundamental resource for the human race as important as air, water, food and shelter. About half (49 percent of college students and 47 percent of employees) believe it is “pretty close” to that level of importance. Combined, four of every five college students and young employees believe the Internet is vitally important as part of their daily life’s sustenance.
Two-thirds of students (66 percent) and more than half of employees (58 percent) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives.” In addition, smartphones are poised to surpass desktops as the most prevalent tool from a global perspective, as 19 percent of college students consider smartphones as their “most important” device used on a daily basis, compared to 20 percent for desktops an indication of the growing trend of smartphone prominence and expected rise in usage by the next generation of college graduates upon entering the workforce.
The finding also suggest the increasing prevalence and sometimes intrusion– of social networking in daily life. About nine of 10 (91 percent) college students and employees (88 percent) globally said they have a Facebook account of those, 81 percent of college students and 73 percent of employees check their Facebook page at least once a day. One of those three (33 percent) said they check at least five times a day.
College students reported constant online interruptions while doing projects or homework, such as instant messaging, social media updates and phone calls. In a given hour, more than four out of five (84 percent) college students said they are interrupted at least once. About one in five students (19 percent) said they are interrupted six times or more an average of at least once every 10 minutes. One of 10 (12 percent) said they lose count how many times they are interrupted while they are trying to focus on a project.
In a sign that the boundary between work and personal lives is becoming thinner, seven of 10 employees “friended” their managers and/or co-workers on Facebook, indicating the dissolution of boundaries separating work and private life. Culturally, the United States featured lower percentages of employees friending managers and co-workers only about one in four (23 percent) although two of five friended their co-workers (40 percent).
The global study consists of two surveys one involving college students, the other on young professionals in their 20s. Each survey includes 100 respondents from each of 14 countries, resulting in a pool of 2,800 respondents. “The lifestyles of prosumers’ the blending of professionals and consumers in the workplace their technology expectations, and their behavior toward information access is changing the nature of communications on a global basis, noted Dave Evans, Cisco s chief futurist.
To read the original eWeek article, click here: Internet as Important as Food, Air: Cisco Report