For many college students, not a day goes by where they don’t read something, whether a succinct post on social media, a bulleted list in a textbook or a lengthy novel about action and adventure.
Reading helps us learn new information, expand our vocabularies and improve how we write and communicate.
Some college students prefer reading books, newspapers, and magazines, but most would rather skim the feeds and timelines of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, according to our recent survey.
Anyone, professional or amateur, can publish anything, verified or not, online, and thus, much of the information found there is unreliable and factually suspect.
This past week, The George-Anne Reflector Magazine surveyed 42 Georgia Southern University students about their reading habits to find out how much social, online and print media they consume.
The results are revealing.
In the past 30 days:
Regarding online reading material, such as online newspaper and magazine articles, blog posts, and literary journals, the results were a bit more varied:
Considering the financial state of the print industry and millennials’ preference for technology, the results for students’ consumption of print reading material were as expected:
Students were also asked how frequently they read their textbooks for class:
The survey also posed the following short-answer question: “In general, what do you enjoy reading about the most?”
Below is a chronological list of the responses.
Note that some of the respondents seem to have misread the question as, “What do you enjoy about reading the most?”
In addition, 88 percent of the students said they’re most likely to read social media posts, as opposed to online news articles and blog posts.
Regarding print reading material, 67 percent of students said they’re most likely to read books, as opposed to newspapers and magazines.
The last survey question asked students why they read:
In conclusion, this survey indicates that GS students are consuming a heaping portion of social and online media, while spending very little time reading print books, newspapers, magazines and textbooks.
This isn’t altogether surprising, of course. Young, Generation Z college students live in a digital-dominated world, an era in which all of the information they could ever want is just a click or finger tap away.
But aside from the general inaccuracy and unreliability of social and online media, just what are the consequences of too much screen time?
According to recent neuroimaging research:
In short, it wouldn’t hurt to give the eyes a rest from the blue light for a while and read a book, magazine or newspaper in a warmly lit area.
The George-Anne Reflector Magazine’s survey covered only a small portion of Georgia Southern’s student population, so we want to know, what are your online, social and print media reading habits like?
Tweet us @ReflectorGSU and let us know!