Research: Do Students Sometimes Feel They Are Addicted to The Internet?

In January 2014, Tablets for Schools surveyed 2,228 high school students who had been using tablets for over a year.

The research found that almost 40% of kids “sometimes” feel addicted to the internet. Other findings include:

  • 64% of students took a device to bed (feelings of addiction rose from to 50%).
  • More girls (46%) than boys (36%) sometimes feel addicted.
  • The most common activities that drive perceived addiction are socialising and networking (34%), media (23%) and gaming (16%).

One student noted that:“It’s the first thing I look at in the morning and the last thing at night.�? Another student got nervous when not on the internet for a long time: I feel like I’m missing something.�?

However, the report questioned use of the term ‘addiction’ – asking whether kids might be referring to a habit rather than a compulsion. Also, the report also found that those who have friends or family abroad, who have moved school or who live in isolated areas particularly express the benefits.

Young People Prefer Boundaries

The report found that 46% of those who take their device to bed would like to have firewalls.

The Answer: Training and Preparation

Given the proven benefits of tablets, both Andrew Harrison (Chair of Tablets for Schools) and Sebastian James (Co-Chair) feel that the answer lies in effective training and preparation.
Harrison notes:

“The key to getting the best out of this incredible technology is for pupils, parents and teachers to be properly prepared…[and] empowered on the correct and balanced path to take.�?

Similarly, James points out:

“The key is to recognise and meet the risks squarely and in a balanced way so as to unleash the amazing power of these devices to improve education and support teaching in our schools�?.

The Tablets for Schools Student Charter To Counter Addiction

From this research, a charter of guidance emerged from secondary school students on how to deal with the issue of internet addiction.

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