A recent survey by an Irish IT distributor, Data Solutions, reveals that 75% of Irish students prefer to use the popular social networking site Facebook, as their main way of communicating via the web.

The survey, published on behalf of Blue Coat Systems, also shows that only 6% of students choose to use email as their channel of communication.

The Blue Coat survey was done in order to determine how exactly this generation is keeping in touch. Inside Ireland reported that a total of 164 students were interviewed, ranging from secondary school to third level.

The outcome of the June 2011 study showed that social networking is most definitely taking the reins in the communication world, leaving traditional emailing in the dust.

Facebook is also the leading site for social networking, with 88% of the participants saying they have an account, as compared to only 33% of them who are on Twitter and just 20% who have a Bebo account.

Michael O’Hara, Data Solutions’ managing director spoke on the results, saying:
“The line between face-to-face interaction and online communication is blurring for many teenagers and young adults today.

“More than 85% of the students surveyed own or have access to a laptop, and almost 40% own a smartphone.”

The survey also reported the students’ thoughts on technology and how they felt about using their personal devices in their future work environments.

Over 60% expect their future places of work to allow the use of personal devices such as laptops and smartphones, despite the risk of company data leakage.

Nigel Hawthorn, VP EMEA marketing, Blue Coat Systems said:
“When today’s students enter the workforce they will be completely in tune with the new ways of communicating and collaborating online, as most are already using social networking sites, blogs, Skype or instant messaging.”

“Companies will need to ensure social media access isn’t abused and excessive time spent on these sites to the detriment of productivity.

“It is therefore better to embrace this new trend and put policies in place to ensure it is being used in an appropriate and responsible manner rather than blocked and ignored,”
she concluded.

Facebook: Social network giant plans to double workforce in IrelandPA Wire/PA Photos