In-car internetEnlarge Photo
For the average young person back in the 1950s, only two things really mattered: A hot date for the weekend, and a hot car to go to the local drive-in, diner or secluded spot.
Okay, so a Grease-like lifestyle wasn't enjoyed by everybody, but it's a sign of the times that for the youth of Generation Y, born in the 1980s and early 1990s, the internet is now considered more important than either dating or owning a car.
The Connected World Technology Report by Cisco involved 2,800 college students and young professionals from 14 countries.
When given the ultimatum of being forced to choose between having an internet connection and a car, 64 percent would choose net access. Over half of those questioned said they could not live without the internet, calling it an "integral part of their lives", according to a report on Asia One.
Smartphones are fast becoming the most important of net-enabled tools too. 19 percent of respondents said their smartphone was the most important device used daily - close to the 20 percent who cited their desktop computer as most important.
Indeed, some youngsters prioritize social media over driving itself. A few years back, then-head of R&D for General Motors, Larry Burns, described the way that some young drivers see texting while driving:
“We asked younger people about texting while driving; they told us the distracted them from texting.”
The internet and technology are undoubtably important, and although there's a limit to how much their use can replace more traditional aspects of life such as actually leaving the house to chat with friends or going to the movies, it's no surprise that connected technology is becoming more prevalent in cars. People are increasingly reliant on managing their affairs on the move and we're enjoying a golden age of in-car technology.
However, if Generation Y already finds the internet indispensible, then the reduced cost of technology compared to driving suggests that mid-1990s and onwards Generation Z is just about ready to ditch cars entirely...
Us? We're happy for the all-pervading internet to make its way into cars, but nothing quite beats a life of car culture and a night out with your sweetheart...