International Online Journal of Educational Sciences (IOJES), vol.4, no.1, pp.225-242, 2012 (Refereed Journals of Other Institutions)
University students use the Internet for three main reasons which can be listed as academic/learning purposes, communication, and entertainment. Communication and entertainment can be considered as attractive activities that cause intensive and long usage of the Internet. While in literature heavy usage of the Internet is generally associated with problematic Internet use, one of the reasons for heavy Internet usage might also be ‘affinity to Internet’. Internet affinity is the degree to which people feel attached to the Internet. The aim of this study is to determine the profile of university students who are considered as digital natives according to their Internet usage with the aim of entertainment or communication and understand whether their profiles differ depending on affinity to internet. Cluster and variance analysis procedures were used to identify students’ entertainment and communication oriented Internet use profiles and to examine differences in students’ affinity to Internet. Three hundred fifty-eight university students completed a questionnaire about their affinity to Internet, and frequencies of social networking, online gaming, instant messaging/chatting, e-mailing, and downloading series or movies. Results of the study show that university student digital natives divide into two profiles in the sense of using the Internet with the aim of entertainment and communication and the affinity to Internet has great effect on this division. The profile of the first cluster is composed of students who are mostly male, use Internet intensively, and those who give great importance to this media. Students in the second cluster use Internet less intensively, and give importance to Internet at medium level.