Taiwanese college students spend about five hours each day surfing the Internet, with male students focusing on instant messaging (IM) software to make new friends online, while their female counterparts are more interested in reading and writing articles on blogs, a study released yesterday showed.
The research by professors of communication at National Chengchi University, National Chiao Tung University and Shih Hsin University on 8,733 undergraduates and graduate students of the three schools between Nov. 21 and Dec. 18 found that students tended to use different Internet media simultaneously.
They tended to use IM software, such as the MSN, check e-mails and log on to bulletin board systems (BBS) everyday, but they only surfed Web blogs, played online games or surfed dating Web sites from time to time, the survey said.
The poll also showed that male students would use IM software as a platform to develop relationships with their on-line friends, while female students would more likely use Web blogs to keep in touch with their peers.
Only 2.2 percent of the 5,340 female students in the survey would create personal entries on dating Web sites, while 5.3 percent of the 3,393 males would do so, the study found.
The students said they called friends and classmates on their mobile phones more often than they called their family.
More than 40 percent of the interviewees owned a 3G mobile phone, on which they tended to listen to MP3s and surf the Internet. Up to 73.3 percent of the students said they felt anxious if they didn’t have their mobile phones with them, the study said. Female students were more likely to be anxious about not having their mobile phone than males.
A total of 3,906 respondents said they owned a Web blog, with 88.8 percent of them maintaining their blog to keep a record of what was going on in their life, while 78.7 percent said they write in their blog to relieve the pressure of daily life, the survey showed.
The study found that the majority of the students were also interested in health information, with diet, nutrition, nutritional supplements, exercise and disease topping the list of topics they had researched, but only 2 percent of them had looked for information on safe sex.
The study also found that although a large percentage of the students would search for health information online, they did not necessarily believe the information they discovered.