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