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Is the Internet a Fundamental Human Necessity?

Cisco recently commissioned an international workforce study in order to show the relevance of the network in everyday life. The 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report had some very interesting findings about how central the Internet and computing has become to our lives.
Interesting points of note:
• One in three college students and young professionals consider the Internet to be as important as air, water, food and shelter.
• More than half of the study’s respondents say they cannot live without the Internet, and in some cases cite is as more essential than owning a car, dating and going to parties.
• 40% of responding students have not bought a physical book, except textbooks, in two years.
Anecdotally, we’ve all been in restaurants, cafes or bars and seen people buried in their smartphones rather than interacting with the people around them. I think this data sends some very strong messages about how information technology is fundamentally altering our lives, which carries both promise as well as questions about what this means about our society and how we interact. What do you think?

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