If you think that the answer to this question is an easy “yes,” then you may find the results from Cisco’s 2011 Connected World Technology Report a bit shocking. Cisco commissioned an international workforce study of nearly 3000 people asking their views on the network in their lives.
A few choice highlights:
- 62% of young professionals say they could not live without the Internet
- 47% say the Internet is “pretty close” to the level of importance as air, food, water and shelter
“Wow,” I thought when I first read this. Surely there’s a bit of hyperbole in there, right? But the more that I thought about it, it would appear that the Internet is such a dominating facet of our lives that we forget what life would be like without it.
Off the grid
While camping recently, I have to admit that I enjoyed my time not being connected to the network — it was liberating. However, I realized that all of the equipment I carried had come into my possession through the network in some way: I had ordered my sleeping bag online; my tent was made by a company that utilized the Internet to produce and sell its goods; I had researched gear on Trailspace.com before purchasing. I decided that unless I was running through the woods with nothing on me, I was still carrying the network with me in some way.
If the network is this important to us now, what does the future hold? My wife and I had our first baby, Ronan Singh Lach, three weeks ago, and already his life is influenced by the network: his grandparents get to see him on Skype; we order his diapers on Amazon; I have purchased learning Apps for him on my iPad.
Although I hope to never hear him say “give me Internet or give me Death,” I can understand why he may feel that way. Another interesting find in Cisco’s report is that 2/3 of college students would choose the Internet over a car.
And, an Internet connection is cheaper than buying him a car, right?