Internet ‘as important as food and shelter’

A third of college college students and young professionals around the world consider the internet to be as important as air, water, food and shelter, according to a survey from Cisco.

The 2011 Connected World Technology Report surveyed 1,441 college students and 1,412 employees under the age of 30 in 14 countries – and found that more than half the respondents said they couldn’t live without the internet and cited it as an integral part of their lives.

(It makes you want to stick them in a vacuum chamber and watch them tweet their last. “Superfast broadband, breathless with excitement lol,” perhaps.)

Two-thirds say they’d pick the internet ahead of having a car, and 40 percent said it was more important to them than dating, going out with friends, or listening to music.

And a quarter said that staying updated on Facebook was more important than partying, dating, listening to music, or hanging out with friends.

The most internet-obsessed students come from Brazil, where 65 percent said it was as important as food, water, air and shelter. Fifty percent of Spanish and Italian students agreed.

The second-keenest nation was China, where 64 percent of students said it mattered that much to them – possibly a useful piece of information for Cisco, given its alleged aid to the Chinese government on internet spying.