2,800 college students and young professionals from more than 14 countries exhibited varying degrees of obsession with the internet and its creature comforts in a study conducted by third-party market research firm Insight Express.
The study concludes that one of every three respondents believes the internet is a fundamental resource for the human race — as important as air, water, food and shelter. More than half (55 per cent of college students and 62 per cent of young employees) claim they could not live without the internet and cite it as an “integral part of their lives”.
But dating, going out, partying or listening to music are getting less love from up to 40 per cent of Gen-Yers. Whereas previous generations preferred socialising in person, this group places higher priority on online interaction. More than one in four (27 per cent) college students will rather update their Facebook account than to hang out with friends.
Note that nine of 10 of these students have a Facebook account — of those, 81 per cent check it daily and 33 per cent at least five times a day.
A car is even further from the radar of the Generation Y — about two of three would choose an internet connection instead if forced to make a choice between one or the other.
These findings in the second annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report
demonstrate the increasing pervasiveness of the internet among the next generation of college graduates entering the workforce by examining their mindsets, expectations, and behaviors involving network and information access.
Mobile devices are poised to surpass desktops as the most prevalent tool from a global perspective, as two-thirds cite laptops, smartphones, tablets as the most important technology tools in their lives for accessing information.
This fans the debate over the necessity of offices compared to the ability to work with just an internet connection at home or in public settings, but consider the double-edged sword affecting productivity and attention span: up to 84 per cent of youngsters surveyed said they are interrupted at least once by instant messaging, social media updated and phone calls in a given hour.
The global report, focusing on Gen-Yers 30 years old and younger, puts the spotlight on present-day challenges that companies face as they strive to balance employee and business needs in an environment surrounded by technologies that can deliver information more ubiquitously than before.