As one of the most extraordinary investments in 21th century, Internet seems to never stop developing and it keeps bringing the latest information to people. At the same time, the Internet will also hurt college students when it brings convenience to them since not all of the services of it are advantageous to people in technology. The negative effects of technology that Internet brought to people already exceed its positive effects.
Since the Internet was established, numerous studies were conducted to measure its advantages or disadvantages, especially which concerned students at schools and universities. Scientists still claim the drawbacks of the Internet are obvious: those are distraction, lack of real communication and communicative skills, disturbed privacy, addiction and, as a result, several illnesses including widespread insomnia. But the access to information without limits is a big advantage. Nonetheless, it does not exceed the ruining disadvantages.
Although the Internet is the source of various information, it can spoil students’ productivity. There is no use to equip students with new gadgets before they learn how to use them properly. The research, conducted by three scientists, collected data of 128 college students in the northeast region of the US. It was not a survey which gives an opportunity for a student to answer some special questions, but the research was conducted without letting the students know they participate in it. The researchers emphasized on a negative correlation between a student’s time per week using of the network and his or her exam performance in some courses. They believed it would be wrong to claim from these results that the Internet does not help the students, and it is not a rich source of knowledge as well as it is not capable of enhancing the academic performance of the students.
When it comes to numbers, it is worth considering that the average performance scores of the participants in the study were 1050 points which was only 23 points above the common average among college students during the two academic years period which is the period in which the research was done (Englandera, Terregrossab, Wang, 95). That helped to verify that the participants were just representatives of the of the common students of college population. They were so-called median segment. Should the scientists have enlarged their circle of participants, perhaps, the results would be of a greater confidence.
In any case, the results of a survey recommend that there is a requirement for further researches before colleges and universities decide to equip students with extra high-tech gadgets aimed at further increasing the accessibility of the Internet – unless such endeavors are expected to be a marketing ploy instead of being a strategy and methodology to achieve a higher academic purpose.
The same study emphasized the problem of some colleges that may encourage students to communicate with professors and other students via the Internet rather than promoting profitable real communication. This unhealthy enthusiasm for the high technology and for communication through the Internet is accompanied by colleges’ fears that there may be a distraction which can harm the process of acquiring knowledge, performative and communicative skills, critical thinking skills and so on.
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Students tend to hide their worse performance caused by the Internet. The second study reached even more students – 531 of them from a college. They were surveyed through the several questionnaires which were to assess the general generation features and the youth’s Internet using. Almost ¾ of the students used the Internet at least once a week; and more than 10 percent of these users claimed their usage of the network is excessive and harms their educational development and personalities as such (Sherer, 665). It is obvious that much more students feel themselves addicted but they are probably insincere and do not want to confess to the scientists. Therefore, the method of questionnaires is unreliable when it comes to assessing negative aspects of some technology.
The Internet reduces face-to-face communication allowing college students to neglect it in favor of messaging via the Internet. Also, students would rather use the Web to entertain themselves than to increase their performance. The study of Jones shows opposite opinions of the students. Most of them (around 2, 500 students surveyed) said they are active users of the Internet and they are proud of it as it gives them quick academic growth and enhance their college performance. Almost half of them say that communicating through email enables them to tell some ideas and reflections to a professor that they would feel shame while expressing in class, for instance, when it comes to asking about the grade. Only 1/5 (almost 20%) of the students said they even now communicate more with their professors via email than they do real communication. More importantly, about half of all the students that have been surveyed claim it is obligatory for them to use the network and social media, especially to contact other students asking them for homework or other issues concerning their studies. This is, they say, to promote better cooperation in the classes and out of them (Jones 2).
All in all, the numerous surveys in the research conclude that college students are heavy users of the Internet when comparing to the older or younger (children’s) population. The Internet usage is a part of their daily routine allowing them to survive in the modern world of extreme speed and huge size of incoming information. Indeed, it has become an irreplaceable tool what can be explained by the fact that 1/5 of college students began using computers in their very childhood or at school, although the study is of 2002. This research was comparative, and it has shown that more than 85% of them have gone online, compared with 60% of the other non-student surveyed population. For example, 70% of them are checking email once a day or more.
The college encounter isn’t just about learning in the classroom, it is additionally about acquiring new socializing skills and increasing new social aptitudes. Understudies utilize the Web almost as much for social correspondence as they improve the situation with their studies. Be that as it may, just as they utilize the Internet to supplement the formal parts of their performance at college, they go on the web to improve their social skills as well (Jones 7).
Undergrads likewise lead other Internet clients in document sharing of different types. Almost 45% of college Internet clients report sharing records from their own PCs while only 25% of the non-student population of Internet users have shared records. The sharing of files and documents other than music is more noteworthy among college Internet users – more than 50% of them have downloaded some files while 40% of the general population revealed doing that. 75% of the students use texting services on daily basis more than 3 times a week.
In the meantime, there are a few similarities between understudies’ utilization of the Internet and the other population’s usage. On a regular day, 57% of college understudies deal with Internet to satisfy their needs of going online whether to text somebody or just for the entertainment. To the similar extent, the surveyed U.S. Web clients are online on a daily basis. Furthermore, the measure of experience undergrads have on the web (the measurements of the time they have utilized the Internet) is generally the same as the general American population.
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Moreover, not at all like the overall population, undergrads have moderating conditions that specifically influence how they utilize the Internet to speak with others. A big part of the students experience is figuring out how to create and keep up individual and expert connections. This networking is crucial for them to develop a career. Understudies are expected to socialize with their professors and classmates at an alternative level from that they had already experienced (face-to-face communication). They should learn to incorporate the Internet into new structures, examples and propensities of communication. The network lets social connections to be cultivated more effectively in addition to new relationships that are formed through the Web. Twenty percent of students Web users are using instant messaging on an average day (Jones 5).
There is a tendency that students spend more and more time on the Internet year after year and they live in their virtual reality. The fourth study that proves the argument was also partly a survey. It included thirty behavioral, attitudinal, and demographic items that were expected to conclude more precise results. For example, for demographic data, the scientists gathered details on participants’ ages, genders, years of college, places of residence and so on. The researchers also started from the question whether a person uses the Internet or avoids / minimizes its usage, then they assessed the likelihood of using it and finished by the question of how often students retrieve some information form the Web. The results were somehow similar to the previous study: almost all of the 750 students who were mostly women, on their first-year of studies, and who were of white race reported their frequent Internet use whether for studies or for fun.
This study was conducted only three years after the previous, but it has showed the students are more obsessed with the Internet: 85 percent reported using the Internet up to 7 days a week. They tried to apologize by saying that they use it for less than 2.5 hours a day. 60 % of them reported being professional users with the Internet; and more than 50% claimed that they would like to get all the information on the Internet rather than going to the libraries. The study was focused on getting the information about a health program on the Internet, but it concludes some general evidence as well. Overall, more than 70% reported getting health (and other) information from the Internet and 7 percent of those reported getting data a lot (Escoffery, Miner, Adame, Edd, McCormick, 185).
The last and the more urgent issue is internet addiction among the students. For this survey, the 200 Malaysian students were assessed. The researchers emphasized that the negative impacts of Internet addiction the decrease of interpersonal relationship, behavioral problems ans psychological problems such as social anxiety, constant depression, absence of ability to control one’s emotions or the way of thinking and so on. Some physical problems were also revealed: migraine, sleep disrupt, pain in the backbone etc. Internet addiction, say the scientific group, might affect one’s work performance (Alam, Hashim, Ahmad, Omar, 635).
To conclude, those four studies of college students and their Internet usage leads to the thought that modern college students are getting more and more obsessed with the Internet, no matter whether they use it to increase their college studies performance or just to entertain themselves. This results in internet addiction which causes anxiety, psychological disorders and physical health problems. Nonetheless, students believe the high technology gives them the opportunity to get better grades and to study more efficiently. Therefore, the need for such studies’ results to be published frequently, given to the students’ notice and discussed by them is vital.