Clerical Articles

The use of the Internet and the decrement of the College and academic performances of the students

  • October 12, 2016

Recent studies made in high schools and universities showed that the school performances of the students may decrease because of the excessive use of the Internet(…) It mas made a study on 572 students from one of the greatest public universities. The results showed a correlation between the excessive use of the Internet and the decrement of the school performances. Solitude, their staying up till late at night, tiredness and absence from school were also correlated with the disabilities caused by the Internet.

The Internet addiction and the decrement of the school results were associated with the increase of the use of all the Internet applications and especially with an extensive use of the interactive applications of communication in real time, like the chat cameras and MUDs in opposition to the asynchronous applications like the email or forums. [1]

The use of the Internet as an educational resource enjoys almost an universal support from students, parents, teachers and institutions [2]. However a study showed that 86% from the teachers, librarians and computer specialists from schools that were interviewed for this study consider that the use of the Internet by the young people does not improve their school performance.[3]

They argued that the information from the Internet is too disorganized and it doesn’t have much connection with the school curriculum and with the school books for helping the students obtain better results at tests.

Raising even more doubts about the educational value of the Internet, Young obtained the following result: 58% of the students showed a dicrease of the learning habits, a significant decrement of their results, they skipped classes, etc, because of the excessive use of the Internet.[4]

Although the merits of the Internet make it be an ideal research tool, the students navigate on irrelevant web sites, get involved in gossiping on web camera chats, talk with the friends they made on the Internet or waste their time with interactive games, all these being detrimental for their educational activities. The Dean of the university Alfred, Richard Ott, studied the causes that made some of the students, who normally had had good school results to be finally expelled from the university because of their bad results. To his surprise, he found in his studies that 43% of these students had faced school failures because of excessive logging late at night at the university computer network. The advisers from the university centers realized that the main problem of the students consisted of their incapacity to keep under control their use of the Internet.

A study initiated by the advisers from the University of Austin, Texas, found that from the 531 answers, 14% matched the criteria corresponding to the Internet addiction. This led to the organization in the campus of a seminary entitled ”It’s 4’oclock in the morning and I can’t, oh, oh, oh, I don’t want to turn off the computer”, for helping them become aware of the risk factors implied by the wrong use of the Internet by the students. Dr. Jonathan Kandell from the University of Maryland went even further, founding a support group for the Internet addicts when he noticed the decrement of their school performance and of their integration in extra curricular activities because of the excessive use of the Internet in the campus. [5]

Kimberly Young, probably the author of the most numerous materials that had ever been written about the issue of the Internet addiction dedicates a special article for the study of the Internet addiction of the students who live in university campuses. First the author presents the case of a student at Physics, in the second year, named Kim. Here’s what she relates:

”The nicest moments I spend in school are when I stay till late at night on the Internet.(…) After a time, the Internet started to mean for me everything I wanted to do, everything I thought about. Everything was so fascinating! On chat I met a girl from Ottawa, Canada, student at Physics at a university from there. Here I hardly find girls who study Physics. I became close friend with a guy who lives in England, but who was in fact a scholarship student from California.”

Kimberly Young goes on commenting: ”Kim became so captivated by her world from the Internet that she started to neglect her studies. If before becoming an Internet addict Kim had been an expert in Mathematics and Exact Sciences and had serious career ambitions, now she allowed her marks to get lower before becoming aware that her new obsession sabotaged her aims. At least Kim knew her problem. But unfortunately most of the students don’t. And as the number of students continue to grow, the universities probably became the most favourable ground for the Internet addiction.” [6]

[1] R. Kubey, M. Lavin, J. Barrows, Internet Use and Collegiate Academic Performance Decrements: Early Findings, in: Journal of Communication, pp. 366-382, June 2001.

[2] Idem.

[3] A. Barber, Net’s Educational Value Questioned, în: USA Today, p. 4D, 11th of March 1997, apud: Kimberly Young, Internet Addiction: Symptoms, Evaluation and Treatment, in: Innovations in Clinical Practice, vol. 17, Sarasota, Florida, 1999.

[4] Kimberly Young, Internet Addiction: the Emergence of a New Clinical Disorder, 104th annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada, August 1996, apud: Kimberly Young, 104th Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association, Toronto, Canada, August 1996.

[5] B. Murphey, Computer Addictions Entangle Students, The APA Monitor, p. 38, June 1996, apud: Kimberly Young, quoted work

[6] Kimberly Young, Surfing Not Studying: Dealing With Internet Addiction on Campus, in: Student Affairs Online, 2001.