Internet Usage in College: A Comparison of Users and Non Users in Relation to Self-Esteem and Satisfaction with Life

By Shekhawat, Deepika; Rathore, Pushpa Singh | Indian Journal of Positive Psychology, June 2014 | Go to article overview

Internet Usage in College: A Comparison of Users and Non Users in Relation to Self-Esteem and Satisfaction with Life


Shekhawat, Deepika, Rathore, Pushpa Singh, Indian Journal of Positive Psychology


The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to serve several billion users worldwide (www.wikipedia.com). It was established in the early 1960s and subsequently became a mainstream communication vehicle (Moschovitis, Polle, Schuyler, & Senft, 1999; Schnieder, et al., 2006). Since that time there has been a remarkable growth in the internet's functionality, capacity, accessibility and convenience. These improvements have encouraged more people to use it more often and it has become a powerful application in modem society.

The internet is a massive, computer linked network system used globally to access and convey information, either by personal or business computer users; it is also used for communication, research, entertainment, education and business transactions (Kraut, et al., 1998; Schnieder, et al., 2006). Today the internet is can link all online computers so that people can use it to communicate throughout the world (Schnieder et al., 2006).

The word internet emanates from the words "Internet Connection Network" (Greenfield, 1999). Chou (2001) indicated that the most appreciated internet features included interactivity, simplicity, availability and abundant and updated information.

With a Population ofl.2 billion, 28 states 7 union territories , 22 official languages, GDP of 10% and above, and being world's largest English speaking nation, India internet population is growing at a fast pace. According to an article in Times of India the number of internet users worldwide is expected to touch 2.2 billion by 2013 and India is projected to have the third largest online population during the same time, says a report.

As the number of internet users in India increases, it becomes imperative to raise awareness regarding its positive as well as negative impact. Today's youth is at the forefront when it comes to using the information and communication technology. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to make them realize to what limit or what kind of uses would bring about a positive change in their lives, and at the same time preventing them from succumbing to the negative effects of this technology.

With the increased role of internet in the lives of college students has come increased concern about how they might be affected.

Therefore, the present study sought to investigate the impact of internet usage on college students psychological well being. It was aimed to explore whether there are significant differences in users and non users of internet services with regard to self esteem and satisfaction with life.

Self-esteem

In Psychology, self-esteem reflects a person's overall evaluation or appraisal of her or his own worth. Self-esteem encompasses beliefs (for example, "I am competent/incompetent") and emotions (for example, triumph/despair, pride/shame). Behavior may reflect self-esteem (for example, assertiveness/timorousness, confidence/ caution). Psychologists usually regard self-esteem as an enduring personality characteristic (trait self-esteem), though normal, short-term variations (state self-esteem) occur.

Satisfaction with life

Life satisfaction is defined as individual's perception of their positions in life in context of culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, exceptions, standards and concern. The term quality of life is generally understood in broad terms as satisfaction of needs and feelings of well being. It includes all aspects of material life and may extend beyond it to cover physical and psychological dimensions. Life satisfaction is a holistic concept; generally consider it as an individual's well being and happiness.

Today's generation has grown up with the internet services. Research has suggested this stage of life is a crucial period of development marked by many difficult challenges (Arnett, 2000; Lanthier& Windham, 2004). …

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