Are college student “ADDICTED” to social media?

By Kelsey Correia

A new study shows that college students describe their need for social media like a drug addicted talks about their need for drugs.  Some of the descriptions are withdrawals, cravings, anxiety, antsy, jittery and crazy if they are away from social media tools for too long.  The study conducted by University of Maryland researchers proves that students are reluctant to be without social media.  One student says “I clearly am addicted and the dependency is sickening,”

How was their study conducted?  Two hundred students at the University of Maryland College Park campus were asked to remove social media from their lives for 24 hours.  After this time elapsed, the students were asked to privately blog about their experience with no social media.  In the blog they were asked to mention where their strengths and weakness were.

Susan D. Moeller, a professor at the University, stated that “We were surprised by how many student admitted that they were ‘incredibly addicted’ to media,”  She also added “But we noticed that what they wrote at length about was how they hated losing their personal connections.  Going without media meant, in their world, going without their friends and family.”  After looking through all the blogs posted by these students, she concluded that students were not addicted to the social media but they were addicted to the connection that they had through these social sites.

One student said “Texting and IM-ing my friends gives me a constant feeling of comfort,” also adding “When I did not have those two luxuries, I felt quite alone and secluded from my life. Although I go to a school with thousands of students, the fact that I was not able to communicate with anyone via technology was almost unbearable.”

A very low number of students reported that they watch the new on television or read about the new in a local or national newspaper on a regular basis.  A Ph.D student and a former writer at The Washington Post, Raymond McCaffrey, said that students mentioned that they felt an enormous amount of anxiety when unable to be connected to social media.  McCaffrey concluded that students who use social media care about being updated with their friends and family but they also care about world new in general.  But in a larger picture they cared more about how fast they received information and the instant gratification they had from receiving the information.

Are you addicted to social media?  When your phone dies do you get anxiety that you are missing out on what your friends or family are doing?


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