A study has said that young people depend on Internet devices such as smartphones to 'drive every facet of their lives'.
The study by Cisco on the Internet habits, that surveyed people aged under 30, including 200 Australians, found that 88 per cent of Australian respondents checked their smartphones before leaving home in the morning, as part of their morning ritual.
A third continued to check their smartphones at least every hour, sometimes every 10 minutes, the study said.
According to the study, people checked their smartphones even during meals with friends and family, admitting they would feel anxious of they were separated from it, like a part of them was missing, the Age reports.
Cisco's chief technology officer, Kevin Bloch, said the research revealed a dependency on smartphones that bordered on addiction, something that older generations may not understand.
He pointed that 'if you are trying to have a conversation with somebody and every few minutes they keep checking their phone, it sends negative messages about their attention span'
According to the paper, the report, which covered 3600 people, also found that online friendships were becoming just as important as offline ones.
A third of Australian respondents spend more time talking with friends on social networks such as Facebook than speaking to them in person, the report said.