Study Claims College Students Are Too Attached To Technology

Study Claims College Students Are Too Attached To Technology

College students and technology. It seems like everywhere you go, there is a college student who has their nose in their phones, laptops, and tablets. They are checking social media, texting, or playing the latest version of Candy Crush.

Various reports, parents and faculty are becoming concerned that college students becoming too attached to their digital devices during class.

Junior social behavioral science major Evan Milliken believes that he is addicted to his phone, but he has a good reason for having with him at all times.

“It keeps me connected to the world. I have a lot of friends from all over the planet, so it keeps me connected to them, and it makes it easier for to keep in contact with people.”

But senior psychology major Evelyn Toledo believes that she is not attached to her phone because she thinks if someone is addicted to their phone, he or she is constantly thinking about it.

“I don’t think I’m addicted to my phone. If I’m truly interested in what’s going on, then I won’t think about my phone.”

According to an article published by early this year, college students spend at least one-fifth of their time in class using their digital devices. Most students who use their laptops or tablets in class for educational purposes. Milliken uses his laptop during class to check certain assignments that were given out.

“Sometimes I would use my laptop, if I have it with me. I would use it if I have to go onto Blackboard, and check something.”

Senior public accounting major Andrew Suarez also uses his tablet for educational purposes during lectures.

“I use my tablet in class because I have my textbooks on it.”

Nearly 25 Mercy students participated in a five-question survey regarding this topic. Out of the 23 students, 30 percent spent five minutes of class time on their phones, 26 percent spent 20 minutes, 21 percent spent 15 minutes, 17 percent spent 10 minutes, while only four percent spent less than five minutes.

In the same survey, most participants stated the reason why it is hard for people to turn away from technology is because certain people do not want to be left out of what is going on around them. Most stated they communicate with most of their friends and family by using their phones.

Milliken and Suarez give the same perspective on why people find it difficult to detach themselves from technology.

“People are scared that they won’t know what’s going on outside of the classroom. When there was a time where we didn’t have cell phones, we just got bored in class and acted up. Now, when you have a cell phone, you’re on your phone instead,” states Milliken.

Suarez believes that individuals want to stay up to date on what is going on around them, they don’t want to be left behind in what is going on.

“It’s because a lot of people have a natural tendency of being afraid of missing out. They want to feel connected to something. They always want to feel up to date. Maybe it’s that phobia of being behind or being out of the loop.”

Social media monopolizes a majority of time for users. Milliken and Toledo express what they do excessively on their phones during that day. While Toledo shops online, Milliken is on Snapchat, attempting to capture every single moment he can get his hands on.

“I use Snapchat way too much. For me, I like to capture the moment with either a picture or a video. I like how it saves the moment forever.”

In the same article published by, a survey conducted in 2013 showed that 30 percent of students have checked their phones at least 10 times a day. By 2015, the percentage rose to 33 percent.

In the survey that Mercy students participated in, 52 percent sometimes use their phone in class, 17 percent always and often use their phone in class, while 13 percent never use their phone during lectures.

When asked if society is becoming too attached to technology, all three students stated yes. Milliken and Suarez go into great depth into society’s dependency on technology.

“It’s because society has this thing about having to be connected at all times, may it be television or cell phones, laptops, tablets. Kids are learning how to use these objects from a young age. We’re groomed to believe that it is there for us 24/7, and we’re supposed to use it all the time,” states Milliken.

Meanwhile, Suarez believes that it is moving at a faster pace, and it is the only thing that is keeping others connected to each other.

“It keeps us connected and it’s a faster method of communication than we had before. It’s almost instantaneous; the fact that we can share data and messages through our phones. We can research anything, at a click of a button. I think that is why it makes is so hard for us to stay away.”

The most common solution that everyone agreed on when it comes to detaching yourself from technology is by shutting it off or leave it in your bag.

“You should put your phone in your bag, or turn it off. If you don’t see it, you’ll forget about it. You can also put it at the bottom of your bag and hide it,” states Toledo.