There are certain things that we rely upon as human beings to survive every day, but is the Internet one of them? According to the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report - surveying 2,800 college students and young professionals from 14 countries – one-third consider the good ‘ol World Wide Web as fundamental to daily life as air, food, water and shelter. This, in conjunction with half of respondents who believe it’s “pretty close” to that level of importance means that almost 80% of this younger generation basically can’t live without it.
College-aged kids and young professionals fittingly referred to as the “Gadget Generation,” certainly rely heavily on technology for work, play and social interaction. Facebook is a given, with 91% of college students and 88% of employees stating they have an account, and a third of those check their accounts at least five times a day. That’s a lot of status updates to keep track of.
And while these gadget gurus are checking their social networks, email and browsing the Internet on their smartphones and laptops, TV falls lower down the totem pole. With so much media consumption on mobile devices now, the study found that only 6% of respondents state TV as the most important technology device in their daily lives. And while that doesn’t bode well for TV executives, newspapers have more to be worried about with only 4% of college students and young professionals using a traditional paper as their most important tool for accessing their information.
While they’re busy with all their gadgets, let us not forget about the dating scene, something that is clearly integral to experiences in your 20s. Well, on the love front, the Internet still takes priority for some. Two in five college students find the Internet more important than dating, going out with friends and listening to music. Moreover, a quarter also said that staying updated on Facebook is more important than real-life social activity.
Times sure have changed since my college days, when I had to trek up to the computer lab, have to type in <<PINE>> code to access my email and when my trusty Brother word processing machine was the only piece of technology I used for writing papers. Popping down the hall to hang out with a neighbor or getting a group together to watch Beverly Hills 90210 were some of the most simple, yet memorable parts of being in college. The college experience in this day and age is different in so many ways with the reliance on technology but what hopefully hasn’t changed is the level of human social interaction that’s so valued in these formative years. There is life beyond Facebook, right?
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