Advances in technology have brought drastic changes into our everyday lives. Not too long ago, telephones were hung on walls, facts were found in books, and people had to take a trip to a record store if they wanted to buy the latest music (“Top 25: Technological Breakthroughs”). These simple tasks now seem prehistoric to us and too much of a hassle to accomplish. We are now living in the 21st century, and we have put that lifestyle behind us. Technological advances have made it possible for us to access all of that and more just by reaching into our pockets! All of these burgeoning technologies have definitely made life easier; however, has the growth of such technology affected us in anyway? The Internet is one of the many areas in which technology has advanced and is also something that the world revolves around. It helps get things done much faster and more efficiently. However, this luxury is misused so excessively that it interferes with one’s daily life and priorities. Despite the many conveniences that come with a stable Internet connection, there comes much exasperation, as well. Although Internet addiction is a growing dilemma for a range of ages, there is a particular concern for college students.
For years, many schools have allocated thousands of dollars towards “wiring their classrooms, handing out laptops, and making it easier for students to log on to the Internet” (Mangan). Despite the expenses, Internet connection in the classroom is encouraged because it provides educational conveniences and advantages for students. In fact, applications of information technology in schools actually validate that technological advances have the power to improve education outcomes (Dede). Now that schools finally have these resources, an associate director of information technology reports of shocking requests from the school faculty. “We’ve had requests from faculty who want to turn off networking in classrooms because students are sending e-mail, chatting online, and not paying attention,” says Richard Larsen. An alumna of this class says, “People aren’t as engaged in class when they’re surfing the Internet. There can be awkward moments when a professor asks a questions and no one’s paying attention.” Phillip G. Knutel, the director of academic technology at Bentley College says that the college has spent about $60,000 developing software and hardware to limit Internet access to students. After investing thousands of dollars in providing Internet access for students, many schools are investing thousands more to limit the accessibility due to students’ Internet addictions (Mangan). The purpose of giving students Internet availability to increase the students’ grade is easily contradicted when the students stop paying attention in class and, instead, frolic about the Internet.
It is certain that Internet addiction is more common in college students. Many people might assume that Internet addiction is on the rise due to problems in a student’s life that he/she may be hoping to escape from. However, a study of college students’ Internet use indicates that Internet addiction is a symptom, not a cause, of problems in life (Carlson). “Unregulated Internet Usage: Addiction, Habit, or Deficient Self-Regulation?” concludes that students who used the Internet excessively had the feeling that could not stop; the feelings of depression were correlated to their inability to control Web-surfing habits (Chronicle: “Information Technology”) Matthew S. Eastin, an assistant professor at Ohio State University, says that people may turn initially to the Internet because they are depressed. The Internet could be a gateway to freedom from stress and a place where the student does not have to worry about anything that may bother him/her. People who suffer from depression resulting from loneliness may not be able to regulate their time on the Internet (Eastin). This leads to isolation and poor...
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