The addictions students suffer on college campuses take many different forms, ranging from caffeine to cigarettes to “Jersey Shore.”Now, a practice so common most would not even consider it a problem has been added to the list: Internet addiction.
Internet Addiction Disorder has now been classified as an actual disease, complete with symptoms and treatment after psychologists approved what some call the casual addiction as a real disorder.The reSTART Internet Recovery Program, one of the first rehabilitation centers for Internet addiction opened last year in the U.S., provides Internet addicts with a 45-day abstinence program, among other recovery options.
A Jan. 20 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that people from 8 to 18 years of age spend an average of seven hours and 38 minutes a day using phones, Internet, television and video games, or more than 53 hours a week, including multitasking.
Many Boston University students said they were not surprised by the KFF study.
In an informal Daily Free Press survey, most students said they spend three to four hours online per day, though some admitted spending up to 10 hours a day using the Internet.
Most surveyed said they spend one to two hours per day either making phone calls or sending text messages; a few also admitted spending up to four hours on their cell phones in a given day, and one student even said he once spent 18 hours on his cell phone in one day.
The electronic device that received the least amount of daily attention from students was the television.Students said they generally did not spend any time at all watching TV, while others who did watch TV said they never spent more than an hour.
Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences junior Laura Pierce said she found the study results very plausible.
“My computer’s basically always on, so I can see how people would end up “being online’ for so long, even if they’re not actually doing anything the whole time,” she said.
College of Arts and Sciences senior Kelsey Holo said she was not surprised by the high media intake either, attributing a large portion of it to “guys and videogames.”
School of Management sophomore Nicholas Darre said the constant advances in technology were responsible for today’s Internet obsession.
“Now that you can use the Internet on your phone, you can easily spend 15 hours a day online,” he said.
SMG sophomore Justin Hill said the fact that students spend so much time online was far from a bad thing.
“It opens doors to so much information,” he said. “The Internet is good.”