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INTERNET USE BY UNIVERSITY OF SHARJAH STUDENTS
This study investigates the use of internet by the University of Sharjah students. A forty item questionnaire was administered to 300 female students and 200 male students from various majors. The study looked at issues such as how often the students use internet, where, for what purposes, and to what extent they are benefiting from internet in their scholastic and academic work. Students were also asked about their favorite sites and the benefits and drawbacks of internet.
Findings of the study suggest that 58% of the boys and 60% of the girls use internet daily for an average of three hours. Eighty percent of the male students and 70% of the female students use their own computers at home to access to internet, while 40% of the boys and 70% of the girls use internet both at home and at the university. A very small portion of the boys go to cyber cafes to use internet ( 10%), while none of the female students mentioned going to such places. Only 40% of the female students and 30% of the male students use internet for academic purposes. Forty percent of the girls and 30% of the boys use internet to communicate and interact with their teachers. Over 90% of the male students and 80% of the female students use electronic mail. Male and female students use respectively internet to listen to music (30% and 60%), for chatting (50% and 70%), for news and information (20% and 65%), and for shopping ( 5% and 2%). Asked about internet’s preferred sites, the majority of male students ( 80%) mentioned Yahoo, 60% opted for Hotmail, 60% Arabcom, and 60% preferred Emirates Net. While female students mentioned Hotmail (85%), Yahoo (70%), AlShamsi (68%) and Arab.com (50%).That are the benefits of internet to students? 30% of the male students mentioned research, news and information (29%), communicating with friends (22%), and 15% said internet is of a great benefit in terms of acquiring English language and typing skills. On the other hand female students view the benefits of internet as follows: Research (45%), news and information ( 40%), communicating with friends
(20%) , and learning English language and typing skills ( 20%). Concerning the negative aspects of internet, 30% of the male students and 70% of the female students mentioned pornographic sites which display unethical contents and materials, and 25% and 20% respectively said hackers and viruses, 15% and 10% respectively mentioned misuse if internet and 20% of the boys and 30% of the girls said “internet is a waist of time”, and 10% and 15% respectively said “internet is harmful to Islam”.