Hey, I just didn’t realise. Yes, I am online throughout the day, but so too are all my collegemates,” exclaims Saptarishi Mondal, a final year engineering student, when asked how long he stays online each day.

According to a recent MTV survey, 46 % of youngesters revealed that they are online most of the time. The survey also states that 16% of the youngsters hardly ever turn their PC’s off.

The “State of Cool” is a research done by MTV on people in the age group of 15 – 24 years living in urban India.

Nikhil Pushkarna, a college student, feels the Internet is a part and parcel of today’s lifestyle. He says, “Whether it’s my laptop or web-enabled phone, I’m always available on the web messenger. Why blow bucks on the phone bill when you can access the college’s wi-fi connection in campus and chat via the web-portals?”.

Nisha Sharma, a DU student says, “It is a wrong notion that all youngsters who are online waste their time on chatting and orkutting. Students widely use the net to find books and information on their subjects of interest. I love to read and e-books give me the freedom to download and read literature from around the world. I stay online most of the day and during this time, apart from helping me find books, the internet lets me connect o my friends too.”

Youngsters admi to feelings “Lost” when they are away from their gadgets and gizmos. Kanika Tiku, a Kamia Millia Islamia student, syas, “I live in gurgaon and last summer during regular power cuts, I just din’t know what to do. TV and Internet is my lifeline, without them I was bored to death.”

And what did she do to keep herself busy? “I went to the malls,” she chuckles.

The growing dependence of youngsters on technology and their roud-the-clock trysts with the virtual world has left many parents worried.

“My 17 year old son Jatin only steps out of his room to go to college. He stays locked inside his room, glued to the TV, laptopn and celphone. He has his meals in his room and often for days we don’t meet each other. You can find him online a the time, but wouldn’t know whether he is at home or not,” says Sudhir Kak about his college-going son.

Jatin said, “The web’s my life. All my friends are online most of the day, interacting, discussing college, planning where to meet and staying connected. How can I forget it all?”