Internet seen as important as fundamental human needs - study

Monday, September 26, 2011

One in three college students and young professionals considers the internet to be as important as fundamental human resources like air, water, food and shelter, according to a study by Cisco (Nasdaq: CSCO).

The study, the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, seeks to demonstrate the increasing role of the network in people's lives by providing an insight into challenges that companies face as they strive to balance current and future employee and business needs amid increasing mobility capabilities, security risks and technologies.

The global study comprises two surveys - one involving college students, the other with professionals in their 20s - resulting in a pool of 2,800 respondents from 14 countries: the US, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, India, China, Japan and Australia.

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When asked if the internet was considered a necessity, both college students and young professionals in Brazil agreed that it was an integral part of their daily lives, at 66% and 75% respectively.

However, results were quite different in Mexico, where only 34% of students and 60% of professionals said they could not live without the internet.

Regarding internet's importance compared to basic supplies such as water, food, air and shelter, 65% of college students and 61% of professionals in Brazil said it was as important as these basic necessities. In Mexico, only 16% of college students and 44% of professionals agreed.

Internet's relevance has reached such a high level that 72% of college students in Brazil and 39% in Mexico considered it to be more important than going out with friends, partying, dating or listening to music.

For college students in Brazil, the primary way of getting information and news were desktops (51%) and laptops (20%), while only 4% used smartphones for that purpose. In Mexico, college students access information and news mainly through laptops (46%) and desktops (22%), while 5% use smartphones.

On the other hand, young employees in Brazil prefer desktops (52%) and laptops (24%), while in Mexico they favor laptops first (46%) and then desktops (25%). Regarding smartphones, in Brazil, 3% use them for information or news, while in Mexico that figure reaches 15%.

When it comes to online shopping versus in-store shopping, 66% of Brazilian college students prefer online shopping, while 75% of Mexican students favor the in-store option.