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University students would rather take selfies and update their Facebook status than study.

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But, peculiarly, they believe that their obsession with technology will help them prepare for exams.

The SA High-tech Student 2013 survey, released yesterday, is made up of interviews with 1435 students from tertiary institutions across South Africa, most of them studying at the University of Johannesburg (23.21%).

About 45% of the respondents said smartphones, the internet and social networking got in the way of studies, whereas just 10% said these were a constant hindrance.

As many as 85% said social networking and the internet improved their studies, and 83% believed they enhanced their social lives.

The students said they believed technology enhanced their quality of life.

The survey also found that:

59% of the students were addicted to social media and 16% were “very” addicted. Only 18% were “definitely not addicted”.

Facebook is the most popular distraction (96% used it), followed by Twitter (70%), Google+ (47%), Mxit (39%), LinkedIn (29%), Instagram (16%) and Pinterest (15%).

When asked which network they would choose if they could use only one, 64% chose Facebook.

Twitter came second with 16%, Google+ ( 7%), Instagram (5%), Mxit (3%) and LinkedIn (3%).

Among instant messaging apps, WhatsApp led the way, with 79% saying they used it. BlackBerry Messenger was used by 57% of the students. Facebook Messenger scored 45% and Mxit 28%.

Almost 57% used BlackBerry smart phones. About 19.79% were on Nokia, 14.43% on Samsung and 5.23% on iPhone.

“For students, social networking is not a good or a bad thing in itself but has become an integral part of their lives,” Daryl Bartkunsky, MD of student marketing specialists Student Brands, said.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project recently found that these digital tools were not all necessarily evil because they had helped scholars’ “personal expression and creativity”.

The research surveyed 2462 teachers, most of whom said that, though texting and tweeting were not formal writing, they had led to students expressing their thoughts and writing more.

This was “a plus” even though there were some ubiquitous internet terms that were inelegant and unfortunate, such as YOLO (you only live once), IKR (I know, right) and ILY (I love you).

Source: Sunday Times SA

      

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