Air, Water, Food … Internet

Fundamental importance of the InternetIs the Internet today as important to people as the very air they breathe? That’s what the results of a survey of ~2,800 college students and young professionals seem to be telling us.

Market research firm InsightExpress fielded the survey for Cisco Systems, a consumer electronics, networking, voice and communications technology/services company.

The research effort collected responses from the USA and 13 other countries in the developed world plus emerging powerhouse economies (Australia, Canada, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Russia, India, China, Japan, Brazil and Mexico).

What did the survey discover? More than half of the respondents said they couldn’t live without the Internet – it’s that vital to their lives.

In fact, for many the Internet is more important than dating, partying, and wheels.

Intriguing findings from the survey include:

 ~55% of college students and ~62% of young professionals believe that the Internet is such an integral part of their lives, they could not live without it.

 If forced to make a choice between access to the Internet and access to a car, ~64% of the respondents would choose having the Internet connection.

 “Virtual” relationships are gaining on face-to-face interaction. More than one quarter of the college respondents reported that staying updated on Facebook is more important to them than partying, dating, listening to music, or visiting with friends.

 Smartphones are on the cusp of eclipsing desktop computers as the most prevalent means of connecting with this segment of society … which then makes it not much of a stretch to learn that ~60% of these same young professionals feel that “having an office” is unnecessary for being competitive.

And here’s another thing: These respondents are used to constant interruptions. ~80% report being interrupted by instant messaging and social media updates at least once per hour … and over 30% reported having five or more such interruptions hourly.

To me, this sounds more like disruption than interruption.

Marie Hattar, Cisco Systems’ marketing vice president, concludes that the survey findings “should make businesses re-examine how they need to evolve in order to attract talent and shape their business models.”

She also noted that “CIOs need to plan and scale their networks now to address the security and mobility demands that the next generation workforce will put on their infrastructure … in conjunction with a proper assessment of corporate policies.”

As the survey makes clear, at the rate things are evolving, the office environment will look and feel nothing like it did just a few short years ago. And it may be the biggest single transformation in the business world we’ve yet seen.

3 thoughts on “Air, Water, Food … Internet

  1. This cracks me up. My son does homework on the computer with his cellphone in his lap and Facebook popping up all the time. Of course, I am trying to get him to focus without all the interruptions. Amazingly, he pulls down good grades …

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