Internet Addiction

Another aspect of digital literacy will be to know when to say when.

For all its utility, it’s no secret the Internet is one of the most effective distractions ever invented. That is more true among the younger generations, who are more comfortable in the online world and more apt to find hours spent surfing sites such as Facebook compelling.
Experts say that distraction is becoming a problem at MSU, as it is on college campuses across the country.
Increasing numbers of students are reporting their extracurricular online activities are taking a toll on their academics. And college officials, more accustomed to encouraging students to go online than telling them to stay off, are still looking for remedies.

In a health survey conducted this year, 18.5 percent of MSU students reported that spending time using the Internet and playing computer games had caused them to get a lower grade on a test, a lower grade ina class or to drop a class altogether.

Lansing State Journal: Internet addiction at MSU increasing

I am not a gamer, but I admit that I am addicted to email, blog reading, tangential research, and the occasional link to YouTube, The Onion, or some other distraction.
Is there any more fitting irony incongruity (I spent two more minutes of my life researching the difference between the two) than the fact that I am blogging this, at home, while I should be writing my dissertation?

Enough said.

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Author: Troy Hicks

Dr. Troy Hicks is a professor of English and education at Central Michigan University. He directs both the Chippewa River Writing Project and the Master of Arts in Educational Technology degree program. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Hicks has authored numerous books, articles, chapters, blog posts, and other resources broadly related to the teaching of literacy in our digital age. Follow him on Twitter: @hickstro

2 thoughts on “Internet Addiction”

  1. Troy, sometimes I find that I have to put limits on myself. I feel silly, but I will set the timer and force myself to do what needs to be done and then I reward myself with playtime.

    It isn’t exactly the same situation as you described, but today’s (9/17) For Better or For Worse ( is along the same lines.

    You have made me think that I need to add “play time” into my lessons so the students have time to figure out the web tool I want them to use.

    Keep working on the dissertation!


  2. What a great point braggd makes! We all need play time, especially with new tools. I think of myself buying a brand new pen. I play with it first, writing silly nothings. I want to see how it handles the road, the curves, and the short hops.

    Who can argue with the act of taking the time to choose the perfect word irony|incongruity to express yourself! That’s very clever, using academically sound behaviors to distract yourself! Make sure you use one of those two words in your dissertation and the time will not have been wasted!



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