Cisco global survey reveals new trends in social behaviour of students and employees in their reliance over Internet
A global survey by networking equipment manufacturer Cisco has found that nine out of ten British students are distracted by Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites at least once an hour.
The rate is the highest in the world. The survey also found that in terms of how frequently students use the Internet on a mobile device, British students were the second most connected in the world. Chinese students were the most connected.
Two of five college students surveyed globally (40%) said the Internet is more important to them than dating, going out with friends, or listening to music.
More than one in four college students globally (27%) said staying updated on Facebook was more important than partying, dating, listening to music, or hanging out with friends.
Th study found that one-in-three college students and young professionals considers the Internet to be as important as basic needs such as air, water, food and shelter. When asked to choose between Internet access and a car, nearly three-quarters of the respondents selected Internet access.
Two-thirds of students (66%) and more than half of employees (58%) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as "the most important technology in their lives."
The trend will "reshape business for a new generation", said Cisco UK CEO Phil Smith.
He said, "It could mean fewer people commuting, more people working from home."
"But businesses also need to consider that if people are getting distracted from their jobs, it’s often down to bad management."
The global report is based on surveys of college students and professionals 30 years old and younger in 14 countries.
It was conducted by Cisco to provide insight into present-day challenges that companies face as they strive to balance current and future employee and business needs amid increasing mobility capabilities, security risks, and technologies that can deliver information more ubiquitously – from virtualized data centers and cloud computing to traditional wired and wireless networks.
In the survey, only one of 25 college students and employees (4%) surveyed globally said the newspaper is their most important tool for accessing information. One of five students (21%) have not bought a physical book (excluding textbooks required for class) in a bookstore in more than two years – or never at all.
The survey indicates that the TV’s prominence is decreasing among college students and young employees in favor of mobile devices like laptops and smartphones. Globally, fewer than one in 10 college students (6%) and employees (8%) said the TV is the most important technology device in their daily lives. As TV programming and movies become available on mobile devices, this downward trend is expected to continue.
Of employees who use Twitter, more than two of every three (68%) follow the Twitter activity of either their manager or colleagues; 42% follow both, while one-third (32%) prefer to keep their personal lives private, found the study.
Cisco Enterprise Marketing vice-president Marie Hattar said the results of the Cisco Connected World Technology Report should make businesses re-examine how they need to evolve in order to attract talent and shape their business models.
"Without a doubt, our world is changing to be much more Internet-focused, and becomes even more so with each new generation. 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, and they need to do this in conjunction with a proper assessment of corporate policies," Hattar said.
Cisco chief futurist Dave Evans said the lifestyles of ‘prosumers’ – the blending of professionals and consumers in the workplace — their technology expectations, and their behavior toward information access is changing the nature of communications on a global basis.