A new study suggests that college students worldwide are "addicted" to portable electronic devices, such as cellphones, laptops and MP3 players.
Researchers asked about 1,000 students in 10 countries on five continents to give up all their portable electronic devices for 24 hours. After that break, the students wrote about their feelings and also completed a survey. Most students, whether living in developed or developing countries, are similar in how they use the devices and how "addicted" they are to them, according to the study released by the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland.
The researchers had expected to find some differences among students from different countries, says project director Susan D. Moeller, a journalism and public policy professor at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism and director of the ICMPA. "But it quickly became apparent, from looking at the student demographics and the students' narrative comments, that all the student-responders in this study are digital natives. It was then that we realized that digital natives have no passports: If we had covered up the place name of a student's comment we would have had no idea of the student's nationality."