College News

Students would choose technology and internet access over free food, survey says

The results of a new Microsoft survey reveal that students just can’t live without their gadgets.

Given €400 to spend in one hour, well over a third of students (39 %) would splurge on a technology device (tablet or smartphone), with more than half of those eyeing up the latest tablet.

In fact, tech was the top option, over booking a weekend away with friends (15%), going on a shopping spree for the latest fashions (11%) or buying concert tickets (2%).

For some students, their love for and dependence on technology would push them to sacrifice years of their life to stay connected. One in four (23%) would rather live to the age of 60 with access to the internet, than live to 80 without ever accessing it: indicating that students see internet access as a basic right alongside food, sleep or air (!).

Privacy was also important, as a quarter (26%) would prefer to run down the street naked rather than make their online activities available for all to see.

However, just because students are hot for new tech doesn’t mean they don’t get out and about, although over half (53%) of respondents say they always have their smartphone or tablet with them, whether they’re in the lecture theatre or on the beach.

A further third (39%) said they love using their tech to tap into the latest music and spend hours unearthing the hottest new bands online.

The poll, which drew from over 2,800 respondents in six European countries including Ireland, found that if given the choice of carrying only one thing with them for a year, smartphones were the number-one choice (44%), followed by laptops (24%), tablets (8%), and pen and paper (3%).

But as much as the students of today love carrying around their tech, the survey also found that they may not be as savvy as one might expect.

Two out of every five (39%) admit they don’t use technology in the best way to get work done most efficiently and nearly two thirds (62%) feel that they don’t have enough time to do all the things they want to do.

Relatedly, students also revealed that they are keen to get away from the screen when they can – nearly one in five (17%) said that they spend more time reading about friends’ social lives online than out having fun themselves, and nearly half (45%) think university life would be more fun if people tore their gaze away from their computing devices to chat face-to-face more often.

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