Minnesota Daily poll finds student use of electronic devices is high

Ninety-four percent of students surveyed own computers, and 84 percent own cell phones.

by Jason Juno

Janessa Anderson a communications senior, said she takes her laptop to school for PowerPoint presentations in class. She also owns a computer, a cell phone and a digital camera.

Anderson is one of many University students who, according to a Minnesota Daily survey, use a variety of technological devices.

Anderson said she does not take her laptop to school daily, but she was working on it Thursday at Coffman Union.

Ninety-four percent of students surveyed said they own computers, and 84 percent have cell phones.

Anderson is also in good company as a digital camera owner – 42 percent of survey respondents reported owning the cameras.

“I love my digital camera,” Anderson said.

She also can hook up her camera to her laptop to download pictures for the PowerPoint presentations, she said.

Anderson’s fondness for such devices comes down to one factor.

“It’s just a convenience thing,” she said.

Matt Albers, a School of Public Health graduate student, said he is dependent on his home computer. He said he uses it for “just about everything,” including school, work and his personal life.

Julia Longman, a first-year marketing student, has a Dell MP3 player, as do 24 percent of surveyed students.

“I like it, because it was cheaper than the iPod,” Longman said.

She said it also works well and holds enough songs for what she needs. She decided to go with the MP3 player rather than a CD player because of the smaller size, larger capacity and no need for a CD, she said.

Longman said she has a cell phone too, which is helpful for emergencies.

With her desktop computer, she said, she is connected to the Internet via a dial-up connection, which she gets for free because of a promotion. When the promotion ends, she said, she will switch to high-speed Internet, which 76 percent of surveyed students report having at home already.

She said she just got all of this technology this year and is, therefore, not attached yet.

“I think I could live without (technology) pretty easily,” she said.

Internet usage

Fifty-eight percent of students said they are very dependent on the Internet for daily activities. Thirty-eight percent reported being somewhat dependent on technology, and 4 percent said they are not dependent.

Albers said he gets six or seven e-mails each day. Thirty-six percent of students said they get six to 10 e-mails per day and 28 percent said they receive zero to five.

The amount of time students reported spending on e-mail each day varied greatly, but the average was 20 minutes.

E-mail is necessary for students because it is the University’s official form of communication with students, the University said.

Although students report that they use instant messaging an average of 22 minutes per day, Albers said he has not found a use for such services yet.

Students use WebCT, a tool some instructors use to reach students online, approximately 11.5 minutes per day, according to the survey.