A new study warns students who use their digital devices for too long are at an increased risk of feeling more lonely and anxious. Researchers say it may also demotivate them to study. The study was conducted by a team of researchers that included those from the Swansea University in the U.K.
For the study, the team assessed close to285 students, who were part of degree courses related to health. The team made note of each participant's digital use, levels of anxiety, motivation, loneliness, and learning skills. The results showed internet addiction has a negative impact on students when it came to motivation.
The team also revealed this kind of addiction made students feel more lonely, which made studying for them more difficult. "These results suggest that students with high levels of internet addiction may be particularly at risk from lower motivations to study, and, hence, lower actual academic performance,"Phil Reed, study co-author from Swansea University,told a news portal.
Researchers also revealed 40 per cent of the students used their digital devices for social networking and 30 per cent used it to look up information. "Internet addiction has been shown to impair a range of abilities such as impulse control, planning, and sensitivity to rewards. A lack of ability in these areas could well make study harder," Roberto Truzoli, co-author of the study from the University of Milan in Italy, told a news portal.
The team hopes the findings highlight the need for a highly social educational environment where students can thrive. "Before we continue down a route of increasing digitisation of our academic environments, we have to pause to consider if this is actually going to bring about the results we want. This strategy might offer some opportunities, but it also contains risks that have not yet been fully assessed," Reed told a news portal.
The study's findings were originally published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.
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