Sound of Silence: Comparison of ICT and speech deprivation among students

Dr.Sc. Tihana Brkljačić, MSc. Mario Pandžić, MSc. Dragan Glavaš


The aim of the study was twofold: to describe self-reported habits of ICT use in every-day life and to analyze feelings and behavior triggered by ICT and speech deprivation.

The study was conducted on three randomly selected groups of students with different tasks: Without Speaking (W/S) group (n=10) spent a day without talking to anyone; Without Technology (W/T) group (n=13) spent a day without using any kind of ICT, while the third group was a control group (n=10) and had no restrictions. The participants’ task in all groups was to write a diary detailing their feelings, thoughts and behaviors related to their group’s conditions.

Before the experiment, students reported their ICT related habits. Right after groups were assigned, they reported their task-related impressions. During the experiment, participants wrote diary records at three time-points.

All participants used ICT on a daily basis, and most were online all the time. Dominant ICT activities were communication with friends and family, studying, followed by listening to music and watching films.

Speech deprivation was a more difficult task compared to ICT deprivation, resulting in more drop-outs and more negative emotions. However, participants in W/S expected the task to be difficult, and some of them actually reported positive experiences, but for others it was a very difficult, lonesome and terrifying experience. About half of the students in W/T claimed that the task was more difficult than they had expected, and some of them realized that they are dysfunctional without technology, and probably addicted to it.


ICT; communication deprivation; face-to-face communication; Internet addiction; field experiment; diary record; content analysis.


Berelson, B. (1949). What “missing the newspaper” means. in P.F. Lazarsfeld and F.N. Stanton (eds.), Communications Research 948-949 (pp. 111-129). New York: Harper.

Best P., Manktelow, R. & Taylor, B.J. (2014). Online communication, social networking and adolescent wellbeing: A systematic narrative review. Children and Youth Services Review. 41, 27-36.

Coffey, A., & Atkinson, P. (1996). Making sense of qualitative data: Complementary research strategies.Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Drago, E. (2015). The Effect of Technology on Face to Face Communication. The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 6(1), 13-19.

Kondracki, N. L., & Wellman N.S. (2002). Content analysis: Review of methods and their applications in nutrition education. Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior, 34, 224-230.

Lee, P.S., Leung, L.L., Xiong, C.W. and Wu, T. (2011). Internet communication versus face-to-face interaction in quality of life. Social Indicators Research,100(3): 375-389.

Mallen, M.J., Day, S.X. and Green, M.A. (2003). Online versus face-to-face conversation: An examination of relational and discourse variables. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 40(1-2): 155.

Penard, T., Poussing N., Suire, R (2013). Does the Internet make people happier?. Journal of Socio-Economics, Elsevier, 46, 105-116.

Petrovic, O, Platzer, E. and Maxl, W. (2009) Rauch, Indispensability of mobile phones: an experimental comparison to internet and TV, in: Proceedings of the IADIS International Conference WWW/Internet, Rome, Italy, November 19-22, 2009, 342-350.

Przybylski, A.K., & Weinstein, N. (2012). Can you connect with me now? How the presence of mobile communication technology influences face-to-face conversation quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1-10.

Pugar, J. & Markuš, H. (2014). Usage of information and communication technologies (ict) in

households and by individuals, 2014, first results. Croatian Bureau of Statistics,

Tesch, R. (1990). Qualitative research: Analysis types and software tools. Bristol, PA: Falmer.

Vrasidas, C., & McIsaac, M. S. (2000). Principles of pedagogy and evaluation for web-based learning. Educational Media International, 37(2),105-111.

Williams, M. Bryant, J.A.(2007) To have and have not: deprivation and the rational-emotional bridge, Qualitative, (Part 3), 101-110.

Zaltman, G. (2003). How customers think. Boston: Harvard Business School Publishing.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.21113/iir.v7i2.322

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Tihana Brkljačić, Dragan Glavaš, Mario Pandžić

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.