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Smartphones: Friend or Foe? Are College Students Addicted to the Latest Technology?

Contributing Writers: Max Duffy, Jordan Vitkauskas, Kelsie Johnston

Are College Students Addicted to the Latest Technology?

Everyone faces technological changes. Some may like the modification while others are much more conservative. However, cellular phones have clearly altered society over the last 20 years. It started out as a simple piece of technology that allowed its users to make a phone call wirelessly. With the growth of modern technology, phones are now the most dominant piece of machinery on the market. There are now 80 different brands of cell phones: 17 of those were established in the United States.

However, not everyone has embraced this new piece of equipment as much as others. Older generations are turned off from the complexity of these devices and do not want to take the time to learn how the device works. Meanwhile, newer generations have their cell phones attached to their hips and struggle to socialize like normal human beings. It is an interesting epidemic.

Our MassComm class partnered with BUnow and embraced the challenge to discover how college students use their smartphones on a daily basis. We asked one hundred students about their use of and attitudes about smartphones. Fifty-seven were upper class students, and thirteen were freshmen.

Apple and Verizon consumers were the most dominant in this survey which shows how much Apple has taken over the world with its advancements, and Verizon’s service leads the nation in the cellular market. When asked how satisfied they were with their device and cellular provider, an average of 75 % claimed to be very pleased. Twenty-four percent of students claim to have used their cell phone more then five hours a day, which as a college student is quite impressive.

Sixty-four out of 100 students claim to use their phones while sitting around in their apartment, which makes sense considering that’s where most young adults have free time. But what is truly frightening to our class was how often these students check their phones throughout the day and the impact their phone had on them. Nearly 50 %of the participants claim to check their phones every five to 10 minutes while 49 students claimed to feel anxious if their phone was not close by.

Do we truly have that many significant things going on in our lives, or are we just that committed to our device? One of the most remarkable responses we discovered was how many participants felt addicted to their device. Forty-three percent claimed to have felt somewhat devoted to their phone while 31 % percent felt neutral and only 26% disagreed completely.

Texting and social media applications have become second nature to the average student. In the survey, 90% of the participants stated they use social media during their personal time. Applications like Twitter, Snapchat and Facebook are now leading the way to release future news alerts, providing a tool for conversations and even displaying the latest trends.7910370882_e2d8bfd3b4_o

Texting on the other hand is much more appealing to a cell phone user. Applications like Groupme, Kik, or even group messages can drive any individual crazy. Thirty-one out of 100 students claim to have sent or received more than 100 texts in a day. Now, out of these 100students, 69 of them were females which may have influenced these results considering women tend to text or use social media more than men.

Despite the result of extreme usage of social media and texting, 85 out of 100 students felt their smartphone helped them deal with daily activities. Those are the numbers producers and consumers want to hear. That is why smartphone providers like Android and Apple are changing media use. These companies are revolutionizing ways to help individuals perform at a much more efficient pace. Unfortunately, we might want to keep an eye on whether or not we are being productive, or if we are just truly addicted to modern technology.

            This article is one of several in a series on smartphone usage at Bloomsburg University. This series was conducted as a BUnow editorial partnership with Dr. Ganahl’s MassComm research students. Smartphones are steadily becoming a large part of student life, both on- and off-campus. We aim to study this integration, as well as uncover trends in the ways Bloomsburg University students use their smartphones. We hope the information we discover will be of use to the Bloomsburg population, and that this information will help us all gain insight into how we use our smartphones.

Jordan is a Mass Communications major and a senior at Bloomsburg University. For any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Jordan. Follow him on Twitter by clicking the bird below, or @Lower_Merion33