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The Problem of Technology Addiction Among College Students

The rapid development of technologies has impacted every aspect of modern people’s lives, from work and education to leisure and recreation. In fact, when someone hears words as windows or apple, they instantly think about computers rather than the actual things these words refer to. When living in such a world, people become dependent on the benefits of technology but also exposed to its implicit harmful effects. Since young individuals like college students are particularly exposed to the adverse effects of technology use, they have to adopt the understanding of healthy relationships with the Internet and smartphones to endure psychological well-being.

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Technology use is often associated with addictive patterns in behavior and therefore has omnipresent negative consequences on college students. Research shows that college students spend “almost nine hours daily on their smartphones,” and about 45% of college students are “at risk of being addicted to smartphones” (Ning et al, p. 1). The dependence on access to the Internet and computer or smartphone use has serious negative consequences. In particular, college students demonstrate insufficient self-control in using technology, sleeping issues, depressive syndromes, low physical activity, loneliness, stress, low happiness level, and such diminished academic outcomes (Ning et al, pp. 1-2). Therefore, it is vital to promote healthy technology use, impose limitations on spending time on the Internet, and facilitate culture without smartphones on campuses to improve the well-being of college students.

The opponents of the idea that technology misuse has major negative implications on student life argue that technology, in general, and Internet, in particular, are powerful tools that facilitate college students’ self-directed learning. Indeed, as Summer states, self-directed learning is the key element in preparing students for their future professions and disseminating the value of intellectual technology resources in building one’s knowledge (pp. 29-30). In other words, technology is perceived as an immediate constituent of students’ academic performance.

However, to rebuttal the anticipated position of opponents, one might state that although the Internet and technology use might boost students’ learning and networking skills, the reality of the situation indicates the complete opposite. As Erol and Cirak indicate, the majority of people “suffering from Internet addiction display … behavioral and cognitive preoccupation” (p. 157). As a consequence, they become more involved in their online life and suffer from social isolation and loneliness, which does not reflect the anticipated improvement in effective networking. Moreover, as the study by Ning et al. shows, college students with technology misuse problems demonstrate significant impairments in cognitive performance that obstruct the achievement of their educational goals (p. 2). They suffer from diminished attention control and anxiety, which become psychological barriers to effective learning (Ning et al, pp. 2-3). Thus, technology addiction imposes an alarming level of concern due to the fact that its negative implications outweigh positive ones.

In conclusion, the problem of technology misuse and addiction is of significant concern for modern humanity since it disproportionately affects the minds and behavioral habits of people. It is particularly relevant to college students whose educational performance and overall effectiveness in learning depends on their cognitive abilities, which become impaired under the influence of excessive technology use. Also, despite the anticipated favorable effect of technology on the ability to form networks for professional and educational growth, students with technology use problems demonstrate increased loneliness and social isolation. Therefore, it is important to promote the culture of healthy technology use among college students to minimize the harmful effect and improve their academic performance, as well as overall well-being and psychological health.

References

  1. Erol, Osman, and Nese Sevim Cirak. “Exploring the Loneliness and Internet Addiction Level of College Students Based on Demographic Variables.” Contemporary Educational Technology, vol. 10, no. 2, 2019, pp. 156-172.
  2. Ning, Weihong, et al. “Smartphone Addiction and Cognitive Performance of College Students.” Twenty-fourth Americas Conference on Information Systems, New Orleans, 2018, pp. 1-5.
  3. Summer, Evren. “Factors Related to College Students’ Self-Directed Learning with Technology.” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, vol. 34, no. 4, 2018, pp. 29-43.

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