Volume 9, No 1, 2012
Impact of the Internet surfing on reading practices and choices
Fayaz Ahmad Loan
Reading in the 21st century networked society is no longer confined to the print reading. The scope of the reading has extended to the Internet sources that changed the traditional reading culture of the readers. The present study was conducted to identify the impact of the Internet surfing on reading practices and choices of the net generation college students. The survey method was applied to conduct the study and a questionnaire was used as a data collection tool. A sample of 676 students was selected from different strata based on gender, region and faculty in the degree colleges of the Kashmir region, Jammu and Kashmir state, India. In the sample size only 302 confirmed themselves as the e-readers and their responses were analyzed. Results reveal that the reading behavior of the online readers is in transition as the Internet surfing has increased non-sequential reading, interactive reading, superficial reading, and extensive reading and at the same rates is responsible for decreasing concentrated and in-depth reading. Plus, the Internet surfing has increased reading of the news & views, general knowledge, selected fields, sexual content, spiritual/religious text and has decreased reading of literature. To validate the results, the findings were correlated with earlier studies and hypotheses were formed and tested using the Chi-square test. However, the students have not experienced any electronic reading device like kindle (of Amazon) or iPod (of Apple) during browsing the electronic sources and it could be the future area of research.
Keywords: Reading; Online reading; Reading practices; Reading choices; Internet surfing; College students