Internet has become an accepted mode for
networking and information exchange. Internet is a technological tool which
makes our life easier has become an indispensable part of it while its number
of user population increases faster each day (Yapici & Akbayin 2012).
Internet addiction is a global phenomenon as the relevant technologies and
becoming widely available and accessible globally; therefore studying internet
addiction is an international context is important. It has become difficult for
people to imagine a life without internet. The use of internet and social media
has increased tremendously, especially in younger age groups across the world.
In India, there were approximately 7 million (2001) internet users, 40 million
during 2006 that is expected to rise to 700 million by the year 2019 (Sulania et.al
According to Young,
Internet addiction is defined as excessive time spent on Internet-related
activities, an increasing tolerance to the effects of being online, unpleasant
feelings when off-line, and denial of associated problematic behaviors. Internet
addiction is ‘an individual’s inability to control his or her internet use,
which causes various difficulties in personal life (Akhter 2013). At present Internet
dependence is most vulnerable among students compare to older people. This can
be attributed to several factors like availability of time, ease of use,
unlimited access to the internet, limited or no parental supervision. As some
specialties are dependent on internet for projects and other purposes, it plays
as a major factor. Hence, excessive use of internet adversely affects ones
physical, mental and social health along with academic performance.
technologies is a common feature of today’s world. As one of the most widely
used of these technologies in the modern world, the Internet is playing an increasingly
significant role in revolutionizing peoples’ lives (Qadri et al 2014).
Nowadays addiction not
only refers to drug or substance drug but it also refers to internet, games and
smart phones. These also fall under the category of behavioral addiction (Lee
2006). Internet users, the population of university students is considered one
of the most vulnerable groups in the development of problems related to
excessive use of the Internet (Nalwa & Anand, 2003; Yang & Tung ,
Most of these students
represent the first generation to grow up with this new technology, and they
are characterized by their familiarity and confidence with ICT (Gallardo
Echenique, 2014). They have grown up in an age when computers, mobile phones,
and the Internet are part of mainstream culture and society. Also they are free
from parental control, and most of them move away from family and located close
to the respective universities.
Globally there is an 82
percent increase in 2009 with an average of five and half hours spend on
internet and other social networks (Nielsenwire, 2010). This wide usage of internet
made people addict to it. Internet addiction is an impulse control disorder
which does not involve intoxication (young, 1999). It is a psychological
dependence on the internet, regardless of the activity once logged in (Kandell,
1998). Jones, Johnson-Yale, Millermaier, & Perez, 2009; Schumacher &
Morahan-Martin, (2001) found male students to have significantly more years of
online experience when compared to female students.
Gross, (2004) found
that there is no gender influence among
younger students when compared to older students This may indicate the
narrowing of gender gap in internet experience as society becomes exposed to
the internet at a younger age (Fallows, 2005; Soh et al., 2013). Morahan-Martin
and Schumacker (2000) similarly found that male internets users have higher
tendencies to become internet addicts than do their female counterparts (12%
vs. 3%). Brenner (1997) reported that males and females were not significantly
different in either time online or outcomes experienced.
Internet has become a
part of daily life for most of the young adult. Nowadays, university students
are highly depending on the internet to search for information, social
networking, entertainment, online shopping, and online games. Universities
around the world are using the internet to enhance teaching and learning inside
or outside the classroom. The use of internet wisely for the right purpose is
beneficial to the students; such as researching tool, seeking knowledge,
enhancing their soft skills, exchanging experience and knowledge with
international students and other parties. Internet has many advantages and
proves to increase efficiency; it could also be harmful to the students if they
become addicted to it. It may cause emotional instability (Oskenbay et al.,
2015) and low academic performance (Yeap et al., 2016). Therefore, the present study
focuses on gender difference in internet addiction among university students.
find out the level of the internet addiction among university students
find out whether there is significant difference between internet user based on
A sample is a small
proportion of a population selected for observation and analysis. Questionnaire
method was used. The present study consists of 150 (Female 78, Male 72) university
students studying in Bharathiar University situated in Coimbatore District. The
sample was selected by using convenience sampling.
tools for Internet Addiction Test
Internet Addiction Test
is created by Dr. Kimberly Young. This questionnaire consists of 20 questions.
In this study Cronbach’s alpha score for this test was estimated 0.913. IAT is
a 20 item, 6 point scale with scores ranging from 0 to 5 for each item, which
measures the severity of self-reported compulsive use of the internet. After
all the questions have been answered, numbers for each response were added to
obtain a final score. Total internet addiction scores were calculated, with
possible scores for the sum of 20 items ranging from 0 to 100. The level of
Internet Addiction is defined as:
of Internet Addiction
Higher the score, greater the level of
internet addiction and the problems internet usage causes. A score of 20-49
points as mild user, 50-79 as moderate and 80-100 as severely addicted.
Percentage analysis, descriptive
analysis (Mean & S.D) and one way Anova were used for analyze the data.
In this study an attempt is being to made to understand the gender
difference in internet addiction among students. The scores obtained by each respondent and
the total score obtained by all students have been computed in order to assess
the level of internet addiction. Internet addiction scores range from 40 to 92.
The higher internet score indicates the maximum user of internet. On the basis
of the scores obtained, the students are categorized into three distinct groups
such as students with severely addicted, moderate level and mild level of
Table 1 Level of Internet Addiction among
In the above table shows
that level of internet addiction. The higher scores indicate high level of
internet addiction. It is apparent by the table that number of male on moderate
level was more as compare to female (80.6 male, 58.9 female). 36
percent of female and 11 percent of male respondents are mild level of internet
user. 5 percent of female respondents and 8 percent of male are severely
addicted by internet.
Table 2 Gender and Internet Addiction
Gender of the
Internet Addiction Score
No. of Respondents
It is noted from the
table 2 the male respondents have higher internet addiction with mean score of 62.90
and standard deviation of 10.08. The female respondents have lower internet
addiction with mean score of 58.44 and standard deviation of 10.87. It is
concluded that the male respondents have higher level of internet addiction.
Table 3 One Way ANOVA
Sum of Square
In the above table the mean difference between two groups of students
were analyzed. The Anova result shows that the calculated F value 6.785.
Therefore it can be concluded that there is significant mean difference among
the respondent groups in their internet addiction scores based on their gender.
The finding of this
study showed that there is a significant difference in mean value of internet
addiction in male and female students of University. It shows that students are
addicted to internet. University students are particularly vulnerable to
internet for the reason that the internet is an integral part of student life. Overall,
it can be said that male students tend to be problematic internet users more
than female students. Educational institutions such as schools, colleges and
universities should try to develop new teaching concepts to educate the
students to use internet meaningfully and correctly. The results of the current
study have important implications for adolescents counseling programs. It can
be conclude by this research finding that the rate of internet addiction is
rapidly increasing among university students. Increasing rate of internet
addiction among students, affect their mental and physical health.