Table of Contents
Overview of the problem
Technological advancement has improved the level of information access. In the past, people could not access most of the information far from them, but with the inventions and the technological advancements witnessed in the 21st century, internet access has been on the rise. Australia is amongst the top nations of the world with the most number of its population accessing the internet. As at the end of the year 2016, 85.15 of the total Australian population accessed and used the internet (“Australia Internet Users”, 2017). The Australian population is a mixture of international and the indigenous people (Park, Kee & Valenzuela, 2009). Likewise, to schools in which there are international students and the Australian or local students. The internet usage by the two groups varies depending on their origin. It is an important step to examine the usage of internet by both groups so as to determine the difference in terms of internet use.
People access the internet or make use of the internet due to different purposes, but the main purpose is to access information. College students are the population with an active internet usage with varied intentions. The Uses and Gratification Theory also referred to as the UGT theory tries to expound on the reasons as to why and how individuals actively access internet or media to satisfy certain personal or communal needs (Ruggiero, 2000). The UGT theory is an audience centred approach to gaining insight and an understanding of mass communication (Raacke & Bonds-Raacke, 2008). The core emphasis of the theory is on what the people do with the media. In this research, therefore, the aim is to find out the difference that exists between the international students and the Australian students with regards to internet usage. Because different population accesses the internet with different purposes, the Uses and Gratification approach will be utilized in understanding the behaviour of mass communication.
The Internet is amongst the most successful human inventions in the technology sector and as such has attracted millions of users around the world. It is imperative to note that there are millions of literature done on the same.
Posso (2016) performed a comprehensive search on the internet usage and the educational outcomes among the Australian children (15-year-old Australian children). He states that children in the economically stable nations use the internet mostly for gaming and social networking. Quan-Haase & Young (2010) also adds that the behaviour is on the rise specifically in the Australian population. This is an implication that internet usage differs depending on the background of an individual.
Van den Eijnden et al. (2008) together with Whiting & Williams (2013) contend that loneliness and depression are amongst the factors compelling most of the students and other populations to use the internet. Messaging is always done by most of the people when they are lonely which is among the ways that keep them busy. Depression can drive someone to the point of wanting to search for certain information on media sources.
Stollak et al. (2011) contend that the internet usage by the Australian students has been on the rise for over the last few years. Dunne, Lawlor & Rowley (2010) add that social computing is the top priorities in today’s college students that they even forget to read and write class work.
Gaps in the reviewed literature
Research is done to add knowledge or prove an existing idea. There are many kinds of literature done on the internet usage. However, there are huge gaps that still need specific research. The current literature only focuses on the impacts of the internet usage, but there no specific study examines the specific population that uses the internet. Also, few literature has focused on the internet usage in terms of geographical position, that is, African students versus the Australian students. This is an implication that there is a need to carry out research that examines the differences regarding internet usage amongst different populations in a particular nation.
What are the major factors making students use the internet?
How do people adopt the habit of internet usage?
Do geographical position determines the frequency of the internet usage?
How do international students use the internet as compared to local students?
Most of the international students use the internet less frequent than local Australian students.
Students from Africa do not like using the internet.
Australian students like social computing more than international students.
- Australia Internet Users. (2017). Internetlivestats.com.
- Dunne, Á., Lawlor, M. A., & Rowley, J. (2010). Young people’s use of online social networking sites–a uses and gratifications perspective. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 4(1), 46-58.
- Park, N., Kee, K. F., & Valenzuela, S. (2009). Being immersed in social networking environment: Facebook groups, uses and gratifications, and social outcomes. CyberPsychology & Behavior, 12(6), 729-733.
- Posso, A. (2016). Internet Usage and Educational Outcomes Among 15-Year Old Australian Students. International Journal of Communication, 10, 26.
- Quan-Haase, A., & Young, A. L. (2010). Uses and gratifications of social media: A comparison of Facebook and instant messaging. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 30(5), 350-361.
- Raacke, J., & Bonds-Raacke, J. (2008). MySpace and Facebook: Applying the uses and gratifications theory to exploring friend-networking sites. Cyberpsychology & behaviour, 11(2), 169-174.
- Ruggiero, T. E. (2000). Uses and gratifications theory in the 21st century. Mass communication & society, 3(1), 3-37.
- Stollak, M. J., Vandenberg, A., Burklund, A., & Weiss, S. (2011, February). Getting social: The impact of social networking usage on grades among college students. In Proceedings from ASBBS annual conference (Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 859-865).
- Van den Eijnden, R. J., Meerkerk, G. J., Vermulst, A. A., Spijkerman, R., & Engels, R. C. (2008). Online communication, compulsive Internet use, and psychosocial well-being among adolescents: a longitudinal study. Developmental psychology, 44(3), 655.
- Whiting, A., & Williams, D. (2013). Why people use social media: a uses and gratifications approach. Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, 16(4), 362-369.