Tag Archive for: texting

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.

The affect of social media and mobile phones on society, especially the nation’s youths, has become discussed at length. The claims being that social interaction online and through texting isn’t the same as real-world interaction. Who better to tackle this issue than a current student? Dakota Castets-Didier, a student at Boise State, published an article for The Arbiter agreeing that “social media is killing intimacy.”

One cannot walk across a college campus without seeing the affect that smartphones have had. However, instead of observing how today’s darn kids don’t know how to interact with each other in a traditional way, observe how interacting with each other has evolved.

For the college aged, it’s no longer socially acceptable to call friends to plan an activity. Texting is viewed as simpler and less invasive. It’s even more acceptable to ask for a first date via text than it is over the phone. Some even argue that breaking up over text is perfectly acceptable.

Students are embracing the relative anonymity of online interaction. So much so, that they’ve become increasingly more nervous when addressing crowds of peers in person. Some studies have even pointed to the immediacy of texting and social media to explain shorter attention spans in today’s youths.

While the ability to interact with friends and family anytime, anywhere, is a powerful and useful tool, it comes with a price. We have sacraficed the intimacy and comfort of face to face interaction.