SA students are obsessed with social media

2013-11-01 00:00

SOUTH Africa’s students are obsessed with their social media and some even believe it may help them during exam time.

This is according to the “SA High-tech Student 2013” research study, released by World Wide Worx and Student Brands yesterday.

The study was conducted at all universities and colleges across South Africa and interviewed 1 435 students. This is what they found:

• 59% said they were addicted to social media;

• 16% said they were very addicted; and

• 18% said they were definitely not addicted.

Instant messaging (IM) has similar appeal to students. In the study, 62% said they were addicted to IM, of which 22% said they were highly addicted to the quick fix of chat.

Of the students who were interviewed, 45% of them said technology, including smartphones, the Internet and social networking, gets in the way of their studies. Only 10% said it was a constant problem.

“At the same time, however, they do not believe it is a bad thing,” said the founder of World Wide Worx, Arthur Goldstuck.

“A surprising 85% said it improved their studies, with a similar proportion, 83%, believing it enhanced their social lives. Asked what impact technology like smartphones and the Internet had on their lives in general, 81% said it enhanced their quality of life,” Goldstuck said.

He said the study was a self-assessment and most of the students who said they were obsessed were constantly chatting, posting pictures and checking their status updates.

A self-confessed addict, Dineo Phati (21), a final-year journalism student at Durban University of Technology, said she could not cope when she recently lost her BlackBerry phone.

“I thought I was going to go crazy,” she said.

Phati loves Facebook, Twitter and BBM.

“A lecturer will be in class and I’m busy chatting to my friends on my phone. It is destructive, but you can’t just ignore the chat button,” she giggled.

She said her parents were also annoyed with her that she spent more time fixated on her phone than spending time with them.

However, Phati said her smartphone came in handy with her school projects — especially as a journalism student — and helps her get in touch with sources more easily.

The study revealed the social media mostly used by students includes:

• 96% use Facebook;

• 70% use Twitter;

• 47% use Google+;

• 39% use Mxit; and

• 29% use LinkedIn.

Among IM apps used, WhatsApp was popular, followed by BBM, Facebook Messenger and then Mxit.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


10 best dressed men of 2017

And the awards for 2017's best dressed gentlemen go to...


You won't want to miss...

How to open a beer bottle without an opener
WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…
WATCH: Conor McGregor: Notorious the trailer
Best date night restaurants in South Africa
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.