Written by Gordon, Juang, and Syed, the article “Internet Use and Well-being among College Students: Beyond Frequency of Use” seeks to highlight the importance of analyzing the impact of Internet use on an individual’s well-being. Gordon, Juang and Syed are knowledgeable in their line of specialization and were qualified to conduct the study on the impact of using the Internet on a person’s welfare. Gordon et al. (2007) documented Internet users’ types and explored the relationship between these user varieties and wellness indicators, including loneliness, family cohesion, depression, and social anxiety. There is a sturdy correlation between a person’s type of Internet use and his or her welfare in terms of nervousness, depression, and family cohesion.
During students’ transition from high school to college, there is a substantial change intrapersonally, interpersonally, and academically. This change is often marked with the first significant move from family and close associates towards adulthood. Therefore, students undergoing this shift frequently seek for other social support avenues such as friends and romantic partners to handle the change. However, the increase in the Internet use among learners has provided an alternative social support system that was not available before the emergence of the Internet. Further, enhanced technology in colleges has improved access to the Internet, making it imperative to focus attention on its use among college students.
Over the years, the use of the Internet has become a norm, with individuals between the age of 18 and 25 (learners) having the highest Internet use rate. The primary objective of the study by Gordon et al. (2007) was to collect descriptive information about the use of the Internet among college students and determine the relationship between internet user types such as using it as a means for socializing or official communication and their welfare. However, Gordon et al. (2007) postulate that what an individual does online matters to a user’s welfare compared to the amount of time spent online. The findings suggest that the type of internet use is correlated to the comfort of a user.
The use of the Internet plays a significant role in undergraduates’ health. A study by Çikrıkci (2016) reveals that college students use the Internet more often than other individuals. Additionally, undergraduates experience many life and developmental changes that make them vulnerable to adjustment problems. As such, internet use is a vital aspect in students’ lives. In line with Çikrıkci’s findings, it is evident that learners who use the Internet to communicate and collect information are less likely to report depression and social anxiety, thereby experiencing positive well-being. On the other hand, learners who use the Internet to sustain their social life through creating friends and social contacts are more likely to report social anxiety and depression as a result of expectations and the pressure of waiting for a response.
In conclusion, there is a strong association between the type of internet use such as a means for socializing or official communication and an individual’s well-being in terms of family cohesion, depression, and social anxiety. Generally, the use of the Internet to communicate and gather information positively contributes to a user’s welfare. However, it was evident that individuals who use the Internet to enhance their social welfare are more likely to report increased social anxiety and depression.
Çikrıkci, Ö. (2016). The effect of internet use on well-being: Meta-analysis. Computers in Human Behavior, 65, 560–566.
Gordon, C. F., Juang, L. P., & Syed, M. (2007). Internet use and well-being among college students: Beyond frequency of use. Journal of College Student Development, 48(6), 674–688.