Updated: Apr 4, 2018
Shanker Menon, Lakshmi Narayanan, Ahmad Taha Kahwaji
Associate Professor, Dhofar University
Associate Professor, Dhofar University
Assistant Professor, Dhofar University
Internet was created to facilitate our lives. However, the dramatic increase in use the internet among students in last years has led to pathological use (Internet addiction). This study is a preliminary investigation of the extent of internet addiction in a management institute in India, where sampled were 300 students (first, second and third years’ students). This study was conducted using an Internet Addictions Scale developed by Young (1998) to measure the level of internet addiction. The study used a survey methodology design. Respondents were classified into two categories, "younger" and "older." There was a significant difference between the two groups, the older group clearly showing higher internet usage. It is possible that older students were more addicted to the internet than younger students due to increased exposure to the internet. It is also possible that older students needed to spend more time because they were in senior years requiring the investment of more time on the internet. When differences between gender and internet usage were examined, there were statistically significant differences obtained between the students in terms of this variable. An ANOVA was also done looking at differences in the sample, for both males and females and for the overall sample with GPA as the dependent variable. It was surprising to note that there were no significant differences in internet usage and GPA for all 3 ANOVAS. In general, we found no evidence of severe internet addiction. The addiction was more in the range of moderate to mild addiction. However, it is possible that the reported scores were related to internet work in the campus and did not include the use of smartphones and the time spent on using social websites using smartphones. This study indicated that there is a high degree of correlation between age and internet addiction with older students being more addicted to the Internet than younger students. Also with regard to Internet usage, there were significant differences with regard to gender with men being more addicted than women. The study, however, found no differences between the students in terms of the study year.
Internet addiction has become a reality. Due to the advancement of technology and the use of the internet as a tool for working, information seeking, education and socializing, it has become pervasive in the lives of many people. The addiction is itself pervasive and takes place in several ways for example by joining social networks, creating groups or joining existing groups of users, messaging, blogging, and the pervasive email systems (Anderson, 2001). These methods of communication never existed even a decade back, and today they have become dominate our lives and more importantly our time.
Despite the advantages of social networking and the extensive use of the internet these technological advances it has also created several problems of a psychological and social nature that tend to exacerbate and with the increasing passage of time become addictive and affect the personality of the individual. Researchers in fields as diverse as management, psychology, sociology, and anthropology are today studying these problems especially as it relates to Internet Addiction (Yung et al., 2015, Yen et al. 2008, Young, 1996).
Internet Addiction has created a new area of relevant research, and many researchers in the field of management are interested in understanding the phenomenon since it has a pervasive on factors as diverse as workforce productivity, student performance in school and college, the effect on student health (both physical and mental) and socially unacceptable behaviors. (Griffith 1995; 1996; 1998).
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