YOU ARE AT:WirelessSurvey says: People can't live without the Internet

Survey says: People can’t live without the Internet

In a survey that goes a long way toward explaining the continuing explosion in mobile data traffic, Tata Communications found that Americans have gotten so attached to the Internet that they think they can’t survive more than a few hours without access. Five hours, to be exact. And even the French, who spend less time online than most other countries, fear that they’re missing out when they don’t have Internet access.

The numbers come from a new global report by Tata Communications that is based on a survey of about 9,400 people in six countries: the U.S., United Kingdom, France, Germany, India and Singapore. The numbers included about 1,500 Americans and found that although people around the world know very little about how the Internet actually works, they don’t love it any less. In fact, 64% of respondents reported “feelings of fear, anxiety and anger when not connected to the Internet.” Among respondents from France, which along with Germany had the lowest overall hours spent on the Internet (4.2 and 4.1 hours respectively), 62% of those surveyed said that they fear they’re missing out when they aren’t connected.

Globally, respondents felt they could survive without accessing the ‘Net for 8.9 hours on average. For Americas, that was just five hours. However, U.S residents were less enthused than respondents from other countries about the prospect of wearable technology with wireless connections to the Internet. Only 12% said they were “inspired” by the idea of wearables — they were more interested in the concept of “light speed connectivity”, real-life video communications, smart cities or automated products.

Other findings included:

  • One in 10 American respondents between the ages of 15 and 35 spend more than 12 hours a day on the Internet. Compare that to France, where only 15% of all respondents used the Internet for 6 hours a day or more.
  • Nearly 30% of Americans ages 15–35 said they would give up traditional TV in order to spend time online, and 31% of older respondents said they’d give up alcohol to stay connected.
  • More than 60% of those surveyed incorrectly believe that the Internet is infinite.

Looking for news from Tata companies? Read more from a recent interview with Tata Consultancy Services General Manager, Seeta Hariharan. 


Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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