Just under half of these students had a smartphone, such as a BlackBerry or iPhone, capable of application enhancement. Also, students were stated to be able to live without television and print media but "can't survive without their iPod's", and the undergraduate students are "constantly texting and are on Facebook".
Now don't get me wrong. As a young academic and prominent iGeneration figure, I can not only see both sides of the research argument but also be in a relatively strong position to critically analyse research for flaws and issues; whilst respecting the findings as an academic outcome. If I'm honest, the methodology used is pretty rock solid, with only one yet crucial factor in that the results are interpreted by researchers through qualitative data collection and discourse analysis.
I defend to the highest possible level that today's youth are not addicted to social media and networking, the web and online media. We do spend far more time on Facebook and accessing the web for leisure use and socialising but that is part of the natural progression of tertiary, non-compulsory education socialisation.
Just because we may refer to technology as a means to an end does not negate the other non-technological knowledge we have. We as a generation are used to, in fact, brought up on technology thrust upon us by schools and home computing. Addiction becomes an issue when it has a negative effect on the individual or other people. Different routes are taken each time we socialise; a Facebook message versus a phone call for example, one may be more efficient but secondary and tertiary allowances are still there to fall back on to should other methods fail to yield a result.
The Generation Y and students generally should not be considered as "addicted" to the web. We still possess the ability to visit others in person and engage with them in a verbal and physical capacity.
Maybe we should concern ourselves with the younger Generation Z and their online activity and social tendencies. If the fate of future generations rests in their hands and they resort to "poking" each other on Facebook as a means of engaging of reproductive coitus, that's when we're screwed. Until then, can we drop the "addiction" non-issue?