Mumbai, September 30, 2014
Internet use and dependence have risen to a point where the "Fear of Missing Out" or FOMO, often associated with modern technologies and social networking services, has become a global phenomenon.
According to a study conducted by Tata Communications, 64 per cent of netizens experience FOMO when they are without internet access.
The survey report titled, "Connected World II", reveals responses of more than 9,400 people across six countries: France, Germany, India, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom, and offers insights into people’s behavioural associations, technical understanding and emotional connections to the Internet.
The report said that more than 2.5 billion people are connected to the Internet today, that’s a third of the world’s population. By 2020, the number of connected devices is expected to rise to 26 billion].
A press release from Tata Communication said that some of the key findings include:
Emotional connections & preferences
- 64% of respondents admit to ‘Fear of Missing Out’ (FOMO) when not connected to the Internet, with Asian respondents leading in displaying negative emotions at 80%.
- Global users are willing to renounce different activities for an internet connection, but alcohol (28%) seems to be the top trade-off closely followed by television (26%).
Behaviour patterns & insights
- The study shows that nearly a third of the world’s internet users spend six hours or more per day actively using the Internet
- Regional differences point to a more active internet population in Asia, where 46% of Indian and 43% of Singaporean respondents spend more than six hours per day on the Internet - significantly more than the global average of 29%. Asian respondents also appear the most internet dependent with only 48% of Singaporeans and 44% of Indians capable of lasting up to 12 hours without internet access. Their European and U.S. counterparts can go much longer without getting online, with 86% of Germans, 77% of French, 75% of U.S. and 70% of UK respondents managing up to 12 hours without internet access.
Technical knowledge & expectations
- When it comes to knowing how the Internet actually works, only half of the survey respondents accurately identified network connected data centres as the place where the Internet resides, while 82% do not know that the fastest mode of internet delivery to their devices is sub-sea cables.
- 64% of global respondents incorrectly believe that the Internet is infinite, and 70% believe that everyone owns the Internet with only 16% actually indicating knowledge about geo-control.
- Emerging markets and the developed economies are distinctly different in their vision of the most inspirational opportunity for change in the next three to five years that the Internet can enable. Respondents from Asian countries (Singapore 32% and India 27%) picked smart cities as the most inspirational opportunity, whereas respondents from the U.S. (29%), UK (35%), France (25%) and Germany (45%) view light speed connectivity as the most inspirational.
The release said that, while the average global respondent revealed he could only survive a maximum of 8.9 hours without the Internet on a daily basis, 25% of total respondents are unable to make an educated guess about where the Internet resides and 67% of respondents believe that the Internet and WWW are one and the same thing – indicating an opportunity for education on the understanding and knowledge about the Internet.
According to Andrew Blum, author of ‘Tubes: A Journey to the Centre of the Internet’, “There’s a tangible, physical reality to the Internet. Undersea cables are the ultimate totems of our physical connections. If the Internet is a global phenomenon, it’s because there are tubes underneath the ocean. They are the fundamental medium of the global village.”
“The Internet has truly changed the way we function. As technologies evolve and adapt, there is a huge potential for the Internet to affect different aspects of life, economy and society. The use of these technologies will continue to expand in unexpected ways, and organisations will need to continuously explore, adapt and embrace new digital realities to thrive in,” says Julie Woods-Moss, Chief Marketing Officer and CEO of Tata Communications’ Nextgen Business. “A better understanding of the Internet is likely to improve the appreciation of the Internet and its capabilities leading to new and innovative ways to incorporate digital resources into daily activities.”
The survey results also found that 77% of respondents believe the most beneficial impact of the Internet is its ability to connect people globally with incredible speed.
“This belief has been the guiding force of our business strategy in the past, and is the essence on which we have built our networks to support the present and the future. The fact that over 24% of the world’s internet routes use our network affords us a rare advantage and a perspective that helps connect with our customers globally across emerging markets and developed economies,” says Woods-Moss.
"As more and more global consumers demand greater flexibility with regards to their digital footprint (connected devices, mobility, access to higher bandwidth speed and capacity), Tata Communications recognises the critical role that the Internet plays in facilitating and controlling seamless access between the IT user and service provider (internal or external). Private and business consumers are looking for that ‘just works’ internet experience that allows them to seamlessly switch their home technology to the work place and vice versa. Tata Communications is creating an open communications infrastructure ecosystem that makes the Internet Fit for Business, ensuring high quality and predictable internet that delivers a robust digital ecosystem that’s equipped for the future and that can cope with customers’ demands of intelligence, scalability and reliability," the release said.
"Tata Communications' global connectivity services are built on the world's largest and most advanced global sub-sea cable network, which enables carriers and enterprises to connect almost anywhere in the world. The cable network boasts significant depth in the key emerging markets including Asia, Middle East and Africa. Over 24% of the world’s internet routes use Tata Communications’ network," it added.
A total of 9,417 respondents across six countries -- India, Singapore, UK, USA, Germany and France -- participated in the survey. Of them, 50% of them are women and 50% men. 33% of the respondents are from Asia (India and Singapore), 52% from Europe (UK, France and Germany) and 15% from North America with age ranges: 15-25=11%, 25-35=23%, 35-45=22%, 45-55=22%, 55-65=21%. The findings of this survey were then analysed as an aggregate of the responses and further based on age, gender and location to arrive at the insights.
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