Title: An exploratory Cross-Sectional study to assess Internet Usage among Engineering Students
Authors: Dr Niveditha Vasireddy, Dr Arudra Gopalakrishnan, Dr G. Gopalakrishnan
Background: What is the internet? It is a network of millions of computers that are interconnected. In this highly digitalized era to live without computers, to think of mobiles without internet packages is impossible. Internet is a user-friendly communication medium that is cost-effective and a useful tool in education. All people to access information are increasingly using it across the globe, especially young adults and students. Therefore, it has become an important part of daily life of students for both academic and recreational purposes. Even parents accept it as a necessity and do not find the need to question the usage. While the advantages of the internet are no doubt innumerable, it also brings forward the question of over usage and whether it can lead to addiction. To answer this question, which has previously been posed by and dealt with by media, we have conducted this exploratory study among engineering students to assess the extent of usage and some correlated factors.
- To assess the internet use and internet addiction among young adults.
- To correlate internet addiction with other socio-demographic factors.
- To study the association between internet addiction, self-esteem, and satisfaction with life to try to identify any predisposing or risk factors for internet addiction.
Materials and Methods: We conducted an exploratory cross-sectional study among the students of an Engineering College. The nature of the study was explained to all the II and III year students and those meting the inclusion criteria were requested to volunteer. A100 students were selected by random sampling from the volunteers. All the participants were given a set of four questionnaires which included a semi structured self prepared performa, Internet Addiction Test (IAT), Satisfaction with Life scale, Rosenberg Self esteem scale. The scales were explained in the language comfortable to the students and were encouraged to answer all the items. Incomplete sets were discarded. The scores were then calculated and data computed. The results were analyzed using SPSS 13.0 using appropriate statistical methods such as means, frequency, standard deviation, chi square.
Results: The non-users in our sample were a minor percentage of 8.08% while Normal users were 52.52%. Endangered users were 39.39%, which is a significant number. Our sample did not have any users falling under the severe addiction category. Among the endangered users majority were males i.e. 71.79%. There was a significant correlation between working mothers and internet usage, 70.96% of endangered users had working mothers. Approximately 70% of low self-esteem participants were found to belong to the endangered users category. We also discovered that as the satisfaction with life decreased the internet usage increased.
Conclusion: A significant number of users belonged to the endangered category. Males seem to have more propensities towards excessive usage. Parental supervision, low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with life can affect the usage of internet and lead to addiction. The problem of internet addiction needs to be considered seriously and necessary steps to prevent it should be taken.
Keywords: 1) Internet Addiction 2) Endangered users 3) Low self-esteem 4) Satisfaction With Life.