Internet more important than food to Gen Y: Survey

It seems like some young people believe that the Internet is as important as basic resources in their lives.

According to a worldwide survey done by Cisco on 2,800 respondents, one in three college students and young professionals believe that the Internet is a fundamental resource for humans, as much as food, air, water and shelter.

49 per cent of college students and 47 per cent of employees, said they could not live without the Internet as it is an "integral part of their lives."

This is more than half of those polled, according to the second annual Cisco Connected World Technology Report.

Combined, four of every five college students and young employees believe the Internet is vital to daily life.

And if given a choice between an Internet connection and a car, the majority of college students around the world, 64 per cent to be exact, would rather have Internet access than get a new ride.

This love affair with the Internet doesn't just stop at cars, it seems to have spilled over into the world of love, romance and friendship.

40 per cent of those surveyed said the Internet is more important to them than dating or socialising with friends.

Facebook more important than dating

Social networking site Facebook was also considered important. 27 per cent of respondents said staying updated on Facebook was more important than partying, dating, listening to music, or hanging out with friends.

91 per cent of college students and 88 per cent of employees said they have a Facebook account.

Of these, 81 per cent of college students and 73 per cent of employees check their Facebook page at least once a day. 33 per cent said they check at least five times a day.

According to the survey, these figures indicate a shift toward online interaction, rather than socialising in person.

Blurring lines between work and personal life

Furthermore, online social interaction have blurred the lines between work and personal lives.

The survey reported that seven of 10 employees "friended" their managers and/or co-workers on Facebook.

Of the employees who are on micro-blogging tool Twitter, 68 per cent follow the Twitter feeds of either their manager or colleagues.

42 per cent follow both. However, 32 per cent prefer to keep their personal lives private.