Is the Internet as important as the air we breathe? According to a Cisco survey, many feel exactly that way.
The results of a revealing
survey from Cisco suggest the Internet has become such an integral part of our functionality
that it is deemed as important to our lives as water, food or air. The "2011
Cisco Connected World Technology Report" found that more than half the
study's respondents said they could not live without the Internet and cite it
as an "integral part of their lives"-in some cases more crucial 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. Nearly 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 lives' sustenance.
Two-thirds of students (66
percent) and more than half of employees (58 percent) cite a mobile device (laptop,
smartphone or 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 their "most important" device used on a daily
basis, compared with 20 percent for desktops-an indication of the growing trend
of smartphone prominence and the expected rise in usage by the next generation
of college graduates upon entering the workforce.
The finding also suggests
the increasing prevalence-and sometimes intrusion-of social networking in daily
life. About nine out 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 pages at
least once a day. A third said they check them 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. Additionally,
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. Culturally,
the United States featured lower percentages of employees friending managers
and co-workers-only about 23 percent-although 40 percent friended their
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
The second annual "Cisco
Connected World Technology Report" examines the relationship between human
behavior, the Internet and networking's pervasiveness. It uses this
relationship to provoke thoughts around how companies will remain competitive
amid the influence of technology lifestyle trends. The global report, based on
surveys of college students and professionals 30 years old and younger in 14
countries, provides insight into present-day challenges that companies face as
they strive to balance current and future employee and business needs amid
increasing mobility capabilities, security risks, and technologies-from
virtualized data centers and cloud computing to traditional wired and wireless
networks- that can deliver information ubiquitously.