New research shows that students who use digital technology excessively are less motivated to study and are more anxious about tests.
This effect was made worse by the increased feelings of loneliness that the use of digital technology produced, according to researchers at Swansea University in the U.K. and the University of Milan in Italy.
For the study, researchers recruited 285 university students enrolled in a range of health-related degree courses. The students were assessed for their use of digital technology, their study skills and motivation, anxiety, and loneliness.
The study discovered a negative relationship between internet addiction and the motivation to study. Students reporting more internet addiction also found it harder to organize their learning productively, and were more anxious about their upcoming tests, the researchers found.
“These results suggest that students with high levels of internet addiction may be particularly at risk from lower motivations to study, and, hence, lower actual academic performance,” said Professor Phil Reed of Swansea University.
A￼bout 25 percent of the students reported they spent more than four hours a day online, with the rest indicating that they spent between one to three hours a day. The main uses of the internet were social networking (40 percent) and information seeking (30 percent).
“Internet addiction has been shown to impair a range of abilities, such as impulse control, planning, and sensitivity to rewards,” said Professor Roberto Truzoli of the University of Milan. “A lack of ability in these areas could well make study harder.”
The study also found that internet addiction was found to be associated with increased loneliness. Loneliness, in turn, made studying harder for the students, the researchers said.