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Report: Internet is a Fundamental Resource According to Students

Reflecting the growing importance of the Internet in our daily lives, a recently released technology report from Cisco found that one in three college students today believe the Internet is a "fundamental resource for the human race--as important as food, water, and shelter." Forty percent rank the Internet higher in importance than dating, going out with friends, or listening to music.

The second annual Cisco Connected World Technology report examined the impact of the Internet and networks on the lives and social interaction of young adults. The findings are based on survey responses from 2,800 college students and young professionals from 14 countries.

Key findings of the report include:

  • 55 percent of college students report the Internet is an "integral part of their lives";
  • Roughly 64 percent of students rank an Internet connection as more important than a car;
  • Two-thirds of students cite a mobile device as "the most important technology in their lives"; and
  • One in five students have not purchased a physical book--other than a textbook for a class--in more than two years, or never at all.

The report also found that young adults favor social media as a way to connect with people. Nine out of 10 report they have a Facebook account. Of this group, 81 percent said they check their Facebook page at least once a day. Thirty-three percent check it as many as five times a day.

Social media is also shrinking the gap between work and personal lives, according to the report. Globally, seven of 10 employees have friended their managers, co-workers, or both on Facebook. This number dips in the United States where only 23 percent of employees “friend” their managers and co-workers. Of employees who use Twitter, more than two-thirds report that they follow either their manager or co-worker, with 42 percent following both and 32 percent choosing to keep their personal life private.

The findings of the report also suggest that the Internet can be disruptive. College students admit they’re frequently interrupted by instant messages, social media updates, or phone calls while doing projects or homework. In a given hour, 84 percent report they’re interrupted at least once while 19 percent said they are interrupted six times or more.

The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology report was conducted by United States-based InsightExpress. Download the full report at cisco.com.

About the Author

Kanoe Namahoe is online editor for 1105 Media's Education Group. She can be reached at knamahoe@1105media.com.

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