Good news for would-be psychiatrists

September 23, 2011

Here’s some news that will make those now studying to be psychiatrists happy!

Even after making concessions to the bizarre worldviews of many geeks, especially student and newly-employed ones, about 41 per cent of students and 37 percent of professionals of an admittedly small respondent size (113 college students and 101 professionals under 30 years of age) in India have said that the Internet is as important in their lives as water, food, air and shelter.

I could not live without the Internet, it is an integral part of my life,” they agreed. No printer's devil here!

The findings of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report has not suggested that Facebook should probably be listed on an Indian stock exchange, but may be it is a worthwhile thought, since 92 per cent of students and 98 per cent of professionals check it daily, some doing so as many as five times a day! Boy, this ought to make make parents more tolerant of power cuts.

Some of the findings (and we shall restrict ourselves to India) are so bizarre that Mahesh Gupta, vice president, business development, borderless networks – India at Cisco Systems (India) was compelled to label them as ‘alarming’. And so they are, even if the urban-centred survey may seem to some to be too small a sample size to be of real significance. Besides, Gupta is no doddering oldie; he's young and brisk and knows the impact of technology real enough in his line of work.

Well, Cisco is studying the report to see how it can use the findings to address the new and emerging communications needs through its products and services, but the report is arguably more sociological in its profoundness than anything else.

“Boundaries between the personal and professional live are getting blurred. And online communications are challenging face-to-face contact as the primary method of interpersonal communications,” Gupta said.  That's another point of pleasure to would-be psychiatrists.

It is not strange at all when you consider that 50 per cent of Indian students and professionals say the most important technology in their daily life is the laptop.What you give is what you get. Period.

About the same number of students preferred the Internet to going out with friends or partying, dating or listening to music. The one thing good they have going for them though is that 77 per cent of them prefer access to the Internet than have a car, which if you ask me, is not only eco-friendly but keeps more would-be more maniacs off the roads.

But then 38 per cent of the students surveyed said they check Facebook ‘at least a few times a day’ and another 18 per cent have it on all day; 37 per cent of professionals do so a few times a day and another 12 per cent among them have it on all the time!

And 54 per cent of student respondents said they prefer accessing the Internet to dating.

Who was it who so presciently said that whoever wants to go to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined?

To access the Report go to


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