Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Survey: Internet use collegiate habit

The Associated Press

        CHICAGO — A survey of college students across the country found that 86 percent use the Internet, compared with 59 percent of the overall U.S. population.

        The survey found that much of students' Internet surfing is not related to schoolwork. In fact, 42 percent of students who use the Internet say they use it most often to keep in touch with friends by instant message or e-mail, compared with 38 percent who use the Internet most often for academics. Nearly three-quarters say most of the e-mail they send is to friends.

        “For this group of college students, the Internet just works. It's like turning on the tap and getting water or turning on the TV,” says Steve Jones, the report's lead author and chairman of the communications department at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

        But Mr. Jones said the students' increasing use of the Internet for social as well as academic pupses doesn't mean students are slacking off. He says his research indicates that students are simply using the Internet to help them pack more activity into less time.

        Nearly 80 percent of students surveyed said the Internet has added to their college academic experience, while 56 percent said e-mail alone has enhanced their relationships with professors. The survey, which has a margin of error of 2 percentage points, was distributed randomly and answered by 2,054 students this spring.

        Pew: www.pewinternet.org

        Daily Jolt: http://www.dailyjolt.com


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