The Internet Could Hurt Grades More Than Alcohol, Says Study

By: Ashley Davidson
By: Ashley Davidson

College campuses are known for heavy drinking, which can have a drastic effect on students’ grades. However, what if a much more common use was even worse? Now a new study from Michigan State University shows that the Internet can be worse for students’ grades than alcohol.

Like many WKU students, Melissa Mikolajczyk is addicted to the Internet. “A whole lot,” she says. “I'm on the Internet all the time, like any free time I get, I'm always on the Internet."

Orry Stull says he is on the Internet, "Probably about two or three hours a day."

In a health survey conducted at Michigan State University 18.5 percent of students there reported that spending time on the Internet caused them to get lower grades or drop a class altogether. That's 10 percent more than the 8.5 percent of students who said drinking had hurt their academics.

"Instead of doing homework, I'm usually on the Internet. I really don't go out and drink that much. So I'd say the Internet probably cuts into my grades more because I'm always on the Internet instead of doing my homework," said Mikolajczyk.

The study also found that students who use the Internet excessive tend to fly under the radar so to speak, as opposed to students who drink too much and cause difficulties to others, therefore drawing attention to themselves.

"You can sit in your room all day long and nobody else has to know about it, nobody else sees it," said Brad Sullins.

However, not all the students at Western agreed that the Internet hurts their academic progress. "I think it helps it as much as it hurts it. It balances out because it helps you look up stuff faster and it's just fun to use too," said Missy Piorkowski.

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