A new survey has revealed that UK students are the world’s most frequent users of social media sites, and come only second in the world in terms of frequency of accessing the internet on mobile devices.

The survey, carried out by communications equipment supplier, Cisco, identified that 90% of British students are distracted by social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook at least once every 60 minutes, the highest rate of use in the world; and that only the Chinese access the internet on their mobiles more frequently than British students.

Incredibly, almost 75% of the UK students surveyed claimed they would prefer to have access to the internet than a car.

The survey examined attitudes towards internet and social media use among college students and young professionals across 14 countries.

On a global scale, over half the respondents said that the internet was an ‘integral part of their lives’, with 40% saying that use of the web is more vital to them than dating, meeting up with friends, or listening to music. One in three respondents said they view the internet as being as essential to their well-being as air, food, water and shelter.

Cisco’s UK chief executive officer, Phil Smith, said the survey’s insights into the social media and internet-influenced habits and lifestyles of young students and professionals had profound implications which could ‘reshape business for a new generation’, including a possible shift in the future towards more home-based working.