Search this site

Get in touch

Contact Terry Freedman

Thought for the day

Each day a randomly-selected "law", observation or suggestion will appear here.

Last 100 articles
Free subscriptions

Free guide to using interactive whiteboards

IWB Guide Cover26+ suggestions and tips. Free to subscribers of Digital Education (please see the link below)

 Subscribe to our free newsletter, Digital Education!

 It's free. Signing up entitles you to various freebies. We use a double opt-in system, and we won't spam you.

Click the image above for a free sample edition.

Sign-up page.

The DfE Assessment Innovations series collated. This booklet is free to subscribers of Digital Education.

Be notified by email if you prefer:

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

The Amazing Computer Education Project Book

Remember this?

Amazing Web 2.0 Projects

It’s been downloaded over 35,000 times. I’m hoping to create a similar Computer Education Projects book, which will also be free. Find out how you can help by reading this article:

The Amazing Computer Education Projects Book

Digital Education

News, views and reviews. In-depth articles. Guest contributors. Competitions. Discount codes.

(Not necessarily all in the same issue, but each issue is full of good stuff nonetheless!)

Sign up for our free newsletter now!

Oh No!!If you can't find what you're looking for...

Assuming you’ve tried variations of your search term and checked the spelling without any luck, you may find the article Finding stuff on the ICT in Education website helpful.

Alternatively, if it’s not an article you’re looking for, try looking through the menus at the top of the screen.

E-Books for Sale

Want to make your ICT lessons more interesting?

Then Go on, bore ‘em: How to make your ICT lessons excruciatingly dull is just right for you.

Clustr Map
Terry Freedman's Social Profile
Powered by Squarespace

« ICT and small businesses: the brief | Main | 5 ways to develop critical thinking in ICT »

Internet addiction: another flawed study

You’d think people would have better things to do than do pointless surveys from which they then draw unlikely conclusions. Still, it keeps them out of mischief I suppose. I think this one is meant to be taken tongue-in-cheek, because it states that teens spent less time online than other people, probably because they were too busy texting.

Beware of internet addiction, and reports of internet addiction (with apologies to Edvard Munch)Highlights of the study are that 64% of females think they’re addicted compared with 55% of males; 44% of the over-65s are online (at least, I think that’s what the graphic is saying) and 61% of people feel that they are addicted to the internet, but that 39% could quit if they wanted to. It isn’t clear whether that’s 39% of the 61% or 39% of the whole sample.

That pretty much sums up the way this has been reported. Given that these days you can’t do anything without being online, what exactly does being addicted mean, and how could you quit even if you wanted to? (Here’s an experiment you can try for yourself, which serves as a fitting example. Phone the British Telecom broadband update line, which lets you know if there is a problem with the broadband connection in your area, and when it is likely to be fixed if there is. At the end of the recorded message it advises you to go online if you need any further information. If your broadband connection is down, how do you do that? I’m not picking on poor old BT: lots of companies do that. It's almost impossible to not be online these days.)

The infographic also confuses terminology. It says that teens reported spending less time staring at a screen because they were probably too busy texting. Presumably without looking?

I realise I’m nit-picking but I think what this all comes down to me for me is the following:

  • What exactly is internet addiction?
  • Does it matter? I mean, what is the point of the study in the first place?
  • If you have to spend a lot of your time “staring at a screen”, does that make you addicted? I think this study, or perhaps the way it has been reported, by inferring addiction from data about time spent online, has leapt to conclusions.
  • Diagrams and graphs are supposed to aid understanding; this one does the opposite. The captions and symbols are confusing. For example, one of the graphs has the text “If they can’t Google it, there’s gonna be trouble.", accompanied by email symbols. So I’m not sure if the graph shows the number of people using the internet, going on the web, using Google, or using Gmail.

In short, I regard this infographic as an excellent example of the need for critical thinking in ICT. What do you think?

Have a laugh: here’s a nice cartoon strip on the subject of Blackberry addiction, and a sort of Gamblers Anonymous meeting.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (2)

Judging by the infographic I must be an addict! Then again I must also be addicted to listening to music and reading. Oh and walking, drinking water, eating and quite possibly sleeping.
February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKevin McLaughlin
LOL. Quite!

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>