When Melbourne DJ Jade Zoe, 27, goes to sleep at night she sometimes dreams about Facebook.
It may have something to do with the fact she checks her Facebook account, Instagram and emails on her phone in bed each night and again in the morning before getting up.
"During the day I probably check my phone every half an hour, not including phone calls and messages, just to check my Facebook or Instagram," she said.
"I know it's really bad and I'm trying to be really good and wean off it."
"You can get caught up just talking to people and looking through their photos to see what everybody's up to. But I think it's better to actually try see people in person."
Ms Zoe's need to stay connected online is typical of Australians her age, according to a study by Cisco on the internet habits of the world's Gen-Y population.
The report, which surveyed 3600 people aged under 30 - including 200 Australians - found young people depend on internet devices such as smartphones to "drive every facet of their lives".
It 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, 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.
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.
"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 and whether they're actually interested in what I'm saying," he said.
The report found that online friendships were becoming just as important as offline ones, with a third of Australian respondents spending more time talking with friends on social networks such as Facebook than speaking to them in person.
Ms Zoe said she was working on the door of a music gig last week and bumped into a girl she was friends with online, but had never met in person.
"We agreed that maybe we should actually hang out and become real friends because we knew so much about each other."
Aspiring teacher Dilan Ozdemir, 25, says she sometimes found it easier to have personal conversations online.
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