Internet Use and Well-Being Among College Students

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 2
Words: 866
Reading time:
3 min
Study level: College

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Topic and Main Ideas:
Topic: The authors measure the influence of the Internet expansion on college students’ internal and external well-being factors.
Main Idea: The study aims to explore the relationship between Internet use and indicators of well-being for college students using social anxiety, loneliness, family cohesion, and depression.
Key Points:
Key Point #1Findings reveal that the association between the use of Internet and well-being is complicated.
Content: On the one hand, the authors admit that the Internet has brought a possibility of instant communication with the social environment. On the other hand, Gordon et al. reveal that such correlation of Internet use and social issues is doubtful based on numerous critical studies (2007).
Function:Contradictions and uncertainty in this subject introduce possibility and importance for providing a distinct study that would focus on the correlation between the Internet use and social issues that college students experience.
Key Point #2Five of the most frequent reasons for using the Internet are: meeting people, information seeking, distraction, coping, and e-mailing.
Content: The authors experimentally identified the existence of certain Internet use reasons that has a prevailing value among college students.
Function:By correctly defining the motives, the authors could understand the consequences of different Internet use reasons on college students’ well-being.
Key Point #3Many students preferusing the Internet instead of social interconnection because it enables the anonymity, better control during the self-presentation, and lower among of social collision’s risk.
Content: The most significant risk exposure of the Internet use is directed on the socially troubled people since they feel more comfort, which engraves their social issues.
Function:The authors proved that social comfort, or coping is the most dangerous motivation for college students to use Internet so that such individuals should interchange the online activity to cope with their weaknesses.

Article Summary

From the beginning of the 1980s, college students became the most active Internet user group in the society. As a result, scientists analyze fundamentally analyze this social group in terms of the Internet exposure on social and mental well-being. By establishing the correlation between the reasons for Internet use, Gordon et al. in the article “Internet Use and Well-Being Among College Students: Beyond Frequency of Use” succeeded to define social issues that a specific type of usage might provoke. The research attempted to evaluate the association between Internet usage and indices of well-being for college students using social anxiety, loneliness, family cohesiveness, and depression.

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First and foremost, study showed that the link between the internet usage and well-being is multifaceted. From social sciences’ perspective, the Gordon et al. concede that the Internet has offered a potential of instant connection with the social environment (2007). However, certain scientists indicated that such association between Internet use and social concerns is questionable based on multiple critical research. More specifically, even though the Internet has significantly expanded the number of potential interconnections in the society, it has also blocked many individuals in their virtual communication, which negatively influences their mental and emotional health. As a result, a high degree of uncertainty about the real impact on students’ health presented an opportunity for creating separate research that would focus on the association between the Internet use and social concerns that college students suffer.

Secondly, the study defined that there exist five typical motivations for using the Internet. More specifically, they are: meeting people, information searching, distraction, coping, and e-mailing. By empirically describing the objectives, the authors determined the repercussions of diverse Internet use reasons on young adults’ well-being, which indicates the successful achieving of the research purpose (Gordon et al., 2007). In other terms, authors emphasize that the amount of time spent on the Internet does not impact mental health conditions, while the motivation of going online has a direct exposure on students’ well-being.

Last but not least, the study revealed that the Internet use preference among the most troubled students is motivated by higher rate of anonymity, better self-control during communication, and less probability of integration conflict. The most substantial risk of the Internet use is exposed on the socially troubled individuals as they feel more comfort while going online (Gordon et al., 2007). This factor only exacerbates their social problems due to higher inadaptation to social integration. The authors demonstrate that social comfort, or coping is the most detrimental motive for college students to use Internet so that such persons should interchange or reduce the online activity to cope with their inadequacies.

To conclude, the research defined the specific goals of college students to use Internet, which enabled to assess the impact of all the motives on social issues consequences. In other terms, the authors establish strong interconnection between the reason for Internet use and the social issues as a result of the excessive time spending in virtual environment. Moreover, they realize the lack of concrete information concerning the Internet exposure on non-physical health conditions so that the study has a significant value for the analyzed social unit. The research process included a massive college students’ questioning and revealed five of the most widespread motives for online activity. As a result, the authors statistically defined individuals’ Internet use goals and the most probable social issues that such process might provoke.


Gordon, C. F., Juang, L. P., & Syed, M. (2007). Internet Use and Well-Being Among College Students: Beyond Frequency of Use. Journal of College Student Development, 48(6), 674–688. Web.