On the NAS site, I wrote an essay that explored whether students’ online behavior is a form of addiction.
As I wrote in my piece, I’m not suggesting that everyone move off the grid. Innovations like online bill-pay, Google Maps, and digitized journals have made life easier and they would be hard to give up. Additionally, I could not even propose this issue if we were not online.
But, is there a dark side to net behavior that deserves further attention? A growing number of my students spend their pre-class time face down in their phones instead of talking to others. Could these students just put their phones down if they wanted?
I observe a great deal of attention focused on the effects of spending too much time in front of the TV or playing video games, but what about time spent online? Am I alone in my concerns?