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Kaleigh Reynolds, Kiara Turner, Morgan Bailey

Dr. Cassel
ENG 1201
8 October 2015
Overuse or Not Enough?
During our research to find out how younger students use technology differently than
older students we found out, according to our observations, surveys, and interviews, that there is
not only a difference in younger and older students but in gender as well. In our observations, we
saw that older women use technology more for schoolwork and studying while younger males
use technology more for social media and online games. We also found out that younger students
use technology more than older students through our surveys. Also using the surveys, we saw
that younger students not only use technology more but while using technology they get on
social media sites way more than the older students.
Key Words:
Overuse of Technology
Age difference and Technology
Social Media
College Students with technology usage
Gender and Technology
Technology use in general

Technology is something that everyone uses nowadays. Whether it be a computer, GPS,

cell phone, or TV it is in use constantly, especially the use of technology in teens and young
adults. The purpose of this paper is to see the correlation of age at Sinclair to the overuse of
technology in younger people. We have collected data to prove that teens use technology more
than adults and hopefully the data we have collected and will present to you will give you some
sort of insight into your computer and technology use verses the information collected.
We started as individuals typing a blog response to an article we read. After our
professor looked at our responses she designated groups based on similar responses to the article.
She gave each group an assigned question. As a newly formed group we tweaked the question
and decided it was to be our topic for our paper. Our question became How do younger students
use technology differently than older students? For our observations we first observed older and
younger, male and female students in the library during our class. We watched closely and
noticed differences already. After class we broke off into different directions to our respective
classes and observed some more. We noticed the same differences as we did during our first
observation. The time came to meet with our professor for a conference. During the conference
we discussed our topic question and recent findings. We then presented our goals as a group to
finish our research paper. During the next class we decided it was time to create our survey. Our
professor directed us to the site Survey Monkey to do so. Before we started to make it we sat
down and discussed questions to put in our survey. We decided on questions that gave us both
sides; young and old, male and female and then questions based on technology usage like what

device, social media and length spent on it. As for how many people to survey, we were given a
worksheet to help us figure out how many people we needed to survey and how many responses
we needed to get back. We needed to have ninety six surveys to get our eighty percent feedback
rate that we were looking for. To get a better understanding of our survey audience we decided to
interview some of our peers. We each decided to interview one person since there are three of us.
Two of us interviewed older people in our respective classes and one of us interviewed a younger
peer of the opposite gender. We each asked a total of six questions which were different than our
survey questions and they gave different results. Most recently we got on the Sinclair Library
Database and each found one article regarding our topic. We wanted to learn more about
technology usage in the older community. Each article presented different views and perspectives
of technology usage in older people in our society.
To begin our study we sent out about one hundred and twenty five surveys to fellow
english classes, in these classes ages range from 18 or older. We received seventy eight
responses, with most of the results being varied across the board. Our survey was compiled of
just five simple questions that also got to the point of what we were trying to collect. As we are
actively compiling this paper there is also a paper that we have based ours off of called, The
White Paper Collaboration: The Writing Lives of College Students. Which is like ours in the
sense of collecting certain data from college aged students about technology usage. The way we

decided to conduct our data collection is through the survey as mentioned before and student
conducted interviews.
The first thing we did for our research was observations. Through observations we found
that mostly older women were using technology by doing school related work. As for younger
males, we found that most of them used technology for social media and other things that were
not school related. After our observations, we conducted the survey and distributed them. A few
of the questions in our survey were How often do you find yourself using technology? , How
much of that time is studying or school work related? and How much of that time is Social
Media related? As for the first question, How often do you find yourself using technology?,
more than fifty percent of respondents answered 5 hours a day or more and only four percent
chose only one hour as shown in the figure below.

The second one mentioned, How much of that time is studying or school work related?, was
more varied than the last having the most responses to 2 hours and the least responses to 30
minutes or less which is shown in the second figure.

As for the last question, How much of that time is Social Media related? almost fifty percent of
respondents answered 45 minutes or more in one session shown in the next figure.

Because we noticed that the adults tended to use technology less, we were curious as to why, so
we decided to turn to a couple articles for more information. In "Obstacles To Social Networking
Website Use Among Older Adults" it tells us that with so many different ways to use the internet,
there has shown that younger people have caught on much quicker than older people (Braun). In
Older People Going Online: Its Value And Before-After Evaluation Of Volunteer Support it
shares how adults are still more adamant to go online even after younger people offer to help but
when they do get online they are usually online for only a short time due to a fear of doing
something wrong (Jones). While there is a fear of doing something wrong there is also the older
people who do go online and stay online for long periods of time due to be isolated or even

lonely in life according to the article On Twittering Later In Life (McGee). During our
interviews, we asked questions like What do you prefer better when writing a paper, typing it on
the computer or writing it on paper? and why? All of our interviewees said that they prefer to
type on the computer but the reasons why they did were a little different. The younger students
talked about how it was faster than writing on paper and more convenient because of things like
spell check while the older people talked about how it was just better for their eyes. Another
interesting agreement upon younger and older students was the use of ebooks. Most students,
younger and older, say that they would rather read an hard copy textbook than one online
because you are able to go back easier, highlight, and get to other pages quicker than an ebook.
Another result was out of the question in our interview asking, How often do you study using
technology of some sort or do you just use textbooks? Most of the older students answered that
they do not use technology to study and instead use written notes, and textbooks to study while
the younger students answered that they almost always use technology to study because you can
look at online powerpoints/notes, online research, study websites, etc.
So to conclude, it appears that while technology is being used quite frequently at Sinclair
it appears that it is not always just homework and that is a problem.

Works Cited
Braun, Michael T. "Obstacles To Social Networking Website Use Among Older Adults."
Computers In Human Behavior29.3 (2013): 673-680. Education Research Complete. Web. 28
Sept. 2015.

Jones, Ray B, et al. "Older People Going Online: Its Value And Before-After Evaluation Of
Volunteer Support." Journal Of Medical Internet Research 17.5 (2015): e122. MEDLINE with
Full Text. Web. 27 Sept. 2015.

McGee, Paula. "On Twittering Later In Life." Diversity in Health & Care 7.63 (2010): 163.
EBSCOhost. Web. 24 Sept. 2015.