A new study has found a direct link between smartphone addiction among students and their distraction from studies. The study also says the effects of smartphone addiction may be worsened by increased feelings of loneliness. The study published in the Journal of Computer Assisted Learning assessed 285 students for their smartphone, digital technology usage patterns, in addition to other factors like their anxiety, study skills and motivation. Researchers from Swansea University in the UK published the study suggesting a negative relationship between internet addiction and motivation to study.
Students who reported more internet addiction said they found it harder to keep up with their learning, productivity, and were more anxious about upcoming tests. Scientists also suggested that Internet addiction was also associated with loneliness which made concentrating on the study even harder.
"These results suggest that students with high levels of internet addiction may be particularly at risk from lower motivation to study, and hence, lower actual academic performance," said study co-author Phil Reed from Swansea University.
About one-fourth of the students said they spent over four hours a day online, and the rest reported that they spent between one to three hours every day. According to the study, 40 per cent of students used the internet for social networking whereas 30 per cent of students used the internet to seek online 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," said Roberto Truzoli, another co-author of the study from the University of Milan in Italy.
The study also found internet addiction to be linked with increased loneliness that made studying harder for the students. According to scientists, Loneliness plays a large role in positive feelings about academic life in higher education. Researchers also noted that the lack of social interactions among students associated with internet addiction makes loneliness worse further impacts the motivation to engage in a social educational environment.
"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 said in a statement.
(With PTI inputs)