Developing a Profile of the Heavy User of Instant Messaging among American College Students

A. Mitra, T. McCoy, and M. O'Brien (USA)


Instant messaging, college students, profile, survey


This paper reports on a study of nearly 4,297 students in ten different universities in the United States where the subjects responded to a Web-based survey to report how they use instant messaging (IM). The data suggests that those respondents who are heavy users of IM (thirteen or more times a day) are usually female first year full time students living with one room mate involved with different extra-curricular activities and often reporting a low academic performance as reported through the grade point average. The data also shows that certain types of institutions, such as those with a significant focus on research, have larger portions of heavy users of IM. These findings can be used to better understand the technology culture of the students and the technology environment within which they live.

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