A recent study on the way youths around the world use mobile devices found that college students use their phones to text and interact over social media much more than any other use, such as surfing the web or gaming. The study, conducted by Prof. Paul Mihailidis of Emerson College in Boston, tracked 800 students of 52 nationalities attending universities in eight countries across three continents for a 24-hour period.

As Susan Moeller reports for Huffington Post, Mihailidis made five key conclusions:

  1. Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms are the dominant form of communication and new sharing.
  2. The content that is most shared is not thought-provoking articles, but rather viral videos and music.
  3. There is an addiction to mobile phones and these phones are tied in to a student’s identitiy.
  4. Connecting with friends online through a mobile device has become “more real than the real world.”
  5. Students demand a large number of options when it comes to apps, but only utilize a select few.

The upside to the study’s findings is that these mobile devices allow students to comment and share content more readily, making them better informed and feel more a part of issues.

The downside, of course, is the issue of privacy. With so much of a student’s life online, there’s a significant risk that somone other than a friend could collect and use their information.

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