WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - It's almost an addiction. It seems the younger generations just can't get enough of technology.
"They are talking to somebody on their phone. They are look at the screen. They are doing text messaging. They are listening to music. They are not there for you," said Associate Head of the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University Glenn Sparks. "That is a trend I am concerned about because we are transforming our public spaces to private spaces."
Sparks has been surveying incoming freshmen at Purdue about using social media and their phones to stay in touch with friends. His research has found some interesting data.
"The number of friends people reported they had on Facebook tripled. The number of text messages they were sending each day tripled. The time they were spending on this technology was more than doubling in a day period. We observed that just over a four year period," he said.
Sparks said staying in touch with high school friends can keep college students from forming long-lasting friendships while they attended their university of choice.
"A disporportion amount of time with technology looking at screens, keeping those old relationships warm," Sparks said. "Those people are now not in your physical environment."
Some students tend to agree, but that doesn't mean they are willing to give up social media.
"It is just really easy to talk to people over Facebook and it may be harder to go up to someone and introduce yourself face-to-face," said Purdue University senior Rachel Page.
Some students are just disgusted with the new media outlets all together.
"I don't think it is necessary," said Purdue University freshman Craig Claffey. "I think it is a waste of time to sit online and talk to your friends, instead of actually hanging out with them."
But Sparks' research reveals most college students like depending on cell phones and social media websites to keep up with their friends' activities. Sparks' research also found Facebook has helped many reconnect with friends after more than 15 years.
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