Internet Use among Undergraduate Students of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Nigeria

Article excerpt


The convergence of information and communication technologies as typified by the Internet is increasingly having more influence on all aspects of the society as it has become an integral part of the daily lives of many people. It has had a transformative impact on the mode of information sharing and access globally. Information and knowledge disseminated through the slow process of oral communications or with paper materials can now be transferred rapidly from an individual to an infinite number of users through a number of media and formats. The Internet is the fastest growing communication technology and has emerged as a major source of information that connects people, data and other computers, reducing the world to the much talked-about global village. Bane and Milhemi (1995) described the Internet as the premier networks, everyone connected or as unmanaged web of computer plasma. Technically and functionally, Hargittai (1999) defined the Internet as a worldwide network of computers, and a network of people using computers that make vast amounts of information available. Amichai-Hamburger and Hayat (2010) described the Internet as the creation of a continuous stream of computers linked together to form one grid, which enables interaction among hundreds of millions of people browsing the net.

Whereas the television revolution reached 50 million viewers in 13 years, the same feat was attained in only four years by the Internet (Molosi, 2001). Yunus and Khayal (2000) posited that if there is only one force that is transforming peoples lives and that holds promise to deliver tumultuos impact in the future, it is Internet. To underscore the increasing reliance on the Internet, Huttner (2007) posited that without the Internet, planes would not fly, financial markets would not operate, supermarkets would not restock, taxes would not get paid and the power grid would not balance the supply and demand for electricity. Aqil and Ahmad (2011) averred that the Internet places information on our finger tips and that it is everywhere, knocking at our door, making our life easy and smooth. Adomi (2005) noted that the Internet has profound implications for African countries such as Nigeria as it has the potential to positively impact on the social, political, educational, technological and other spheres of lives of its people.

The education sector was among those that first embraced the use of Internet, and it has continued to broaden the breadth and depth of opportunities within institutions of higher learning worldwide. The Internet serves as a useful tool in support of the various educational activities that ranged from research to teaching. Anderson and Reed (1998) noted that the Internet technology and computers has made it possible for students to be active learners and allowed instructors to be facilitators. Jackson, et al. (2011) remarked that the Internet will level the educational playing field due to its availability to everyone, everywhere, and any time, irrespective of gender, race/ethnicity, income or other socio-demographic characteristics. Thus, the Internet is a vital tool that will propel University education to greater heights as the world move further into the knowledge-based economy.

Universities worldwide now invest a lot on intenet access because it reduces the time between the production and utilization of knowledge; improves co-operation and exchange of ideas with fellow researchers in other institutions, regions or countries, furthers the sharing of information; and promotes multidisciplinary research. Bon (2007) states that the Internet can substitute for expensive hardcopy libraries, by availing students' access to scholarly information resources. Today, survival in academics without the Internet is hardly imaginable. The Internet has found useful applications in online data repositories, library catalogues, journals, news services, student and financial administration systems, online supported or solely online conducted teaching, as well as in digital communication with fellow students and lecturers. …