Cisco Report Highlights the Disconnect of Being Connected

Charlene OHanlon
Cisco Systems recently released the results of its annual Connected World Technology Report, which this time around looked at the importance of the Internet in the daily lives of college students and young professionals. When I took a look at the survey findings, I tried to keep an open mind. But the results kept nagging at me-they show an obvious disconnect from human interaction.

Granted, this is a generation of people who have never lived without the Internet, but still I was surprised at how high this group holds connectivity: A full one-third of survey respondents believe the Internet is as critical to their lives as food, water, shelter and air. And almost half of the respondents said it was 'pretty close' to that level of importance.

The report also found that 55 percent of respondents said they could not live without the Internet, and 64 percent said they would choose an Internet connection over a car.

Call me old-fashioned, but I can remember a time when people didn't look to the Internet as their sole source of entertainment.

Yes, I agree the Internet is a crucial element in ensuring productivity, but it should not be the only way an employee gets any work done. And it sure as heck shouldn't be the only way a person interacts with the outside world. Yet, according to the survey, the Internet is more important than dating, going out with friends or listening to music to 40 percent of the respondents.

That just makes me depressed.

What does this mean for our society? Will it eventually be run by a generation of antisocial, Internet-addicted beings? Were we too thorough in ensuring the younger generation had access to any type of information at any time and on any device?

It seems that in our quest to wire the world, we failed to raise our children as social animals who recognize the value of human interaction.

Is it too late to turn the tide? I hope not.

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