Amherst Study: 1% Of Entering Freshmen Have Landlines; 99% Have Facebook Accounts

from the sign-o'-the-times dept

Here's an interesting little factoid pointed out by Clive Thompson that, while not surprising, does quickly indicate some major shifts on college campuses from just a few years ago. A report from Amherst on the technology used by entering freshmen in the class of 2012 found that only 1% have a landline phone, while 99% have Facebook accounts. Also, students arriving on campus registered, on average, more than one electronic device per student on the university's network. And, it would appear that the concept of the desktop computer is pretty much dead among students. Only 14 out of 438 students brought one.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 7:29am

    I would have loved to see how many actually brought Stereos with CD players compared to those that brought a digital music player. I bet it would be the same disparity.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 7:29am

    I also read somewhere that 5% of college students are some how involved in the sex trade.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:06am

    Re:

    Hmm interesting... really !?!?

     

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  4.  
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    Buzz, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:12am

    Wow

    I never thought I'd see the day come when I started feeling really old. I have a baby girl on the way; she's gonna think I'm so old since I had a landline all growing up. Granted, I do keep up with technology. I have a Facebook account (for interacting and keeping up with my real friends, not for accumulating 12,984 "friends"); my wife and I have only cellphones (no landline), etc.

     

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  5.  
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    Dan, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:22am

    On buying a desktop

    I wouldn't necessarily say that desktops are dead. I just graduated from college, and I have a desktop. But I didn't buy it, I built it. I think that demographic shouldn't be ignored; I also have friends who built their computers, and the surveys never seem to ask about it. You don't have to buy your desktop computer at retail, like you normally need to with a laptop (or an Apple).

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:31am

    Re: On buying a desktop

    Nothing is said about buying a desktop. The article says that only 14 out of 438 BROUGHT one, as in, took a desktop computer to college with them. Apple, Dell, HP, home-made makes no difference when the study is looking at whether the computer was physically moved to the campus.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:33am

    Re: Wow

    Having suffered through the four hurricanes that hit Florida four years ago, I learned that no matter the benefits conferred by cellular, they were rendered useless for several days because of tower damage. All the while POTS continued to work without interruption.

    For those using VoIP, it is great until you lose electrical power and your battery dies.

    It may be "old" technology, but like the "Energizer Bunny" it keeps working and working. Of course, this assumes that one's POTS is not wireless. Kinda hard to charge a handset when electrical power is knocked out for a few days to several weeks.

     

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  8.  
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    Witty Nickname, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:43am

    Re: Guy from Florida

    With you 100% guy from Florida. I am from Houston, and just went through Ike. For the first week after the storm the Federal and city Government took over the AT&T cellular network. If you had AT&T you were doing text messages, or you were lucky to get through with the 10% capacity the government allowed AT&T to use. Even people who had landlines were rushing out to buy corded phones (everyone keeps cordless around, but that doesn't do much good when the power is out for 10 days).

    I keep a landline because I have a 4 year old who knows how to pick up a phone and push 9-1-1. Lets keep it simple.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:46am

    I think you maybe should be aware that this is just for Amherst College. Congradulations on trying to make this seem like across the board stats. You should really stick to writing about the economy, because you are much better at that.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:47am

    theres no point in me getting voip. why? we pay less for a land line that is more reliable and has a better signal

     

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  11.  
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    DS78, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:50am

    Vinyl

    You should have seen my tween daughter's face when she discovered my record collection. That'll make you feel old.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:57am

    Re: Vinyl

    Try describe to them a time when you only had 4-5 TV stations to choose from and you had to manually change channels on the TV itself. They look at you like you've lost your mind.

     

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  13.  
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    Comboman, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 9:11am

    How is this news?

    News Flash! College students living on campus prefer new, portable technology over older, non-portable technology! In other news, the sky is still blue! Film at 11.

     

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  14.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 30th, 2008 @ 9:33am

    Re:

    I think you maybe should be aware that this is just for Amherst College. Congradulations on trying to make this seem like across the board stats.

    Uh, which is why, in the title I said "Amherst study" and in the post itself I said "A report from Amherst on the technology used by entering freshmen in the class of 2012."

    Can you point to where I said it applied to other colleges, because I did not.

     

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  15.  
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    Murder[BoRG], Sep 30th, 2008 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re:

    Well played sir.

     

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  16.  
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    Derek Kerton (profile), Sep 30th, 2008 @ 10:27am

    Fairly Obvious

    Migratory people don't use landlines. These students have JUST moved to a college town and will live there only 8/12 months. Of course there are no landlines. I suppose it's still interesting, but as Bob Dylan said, "You don't need a weathervane to know which way the wind blows."

    As for the desktop v. laptop data: this I do find surprising. I thought lots of young boyzz were gamers. Can't be a serious gamer on a laptop, can you? Does this mean that gaming for this generation is all on consoles? I dug into the linked articles, but there is little detail on game consoles, other than the fact that they figured into the mix of devices that were connected to the network.

     

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  17.  
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    shanoboy (profile), Sep 30th, 2008 @ 10:54am

    Re:

    This study really says a lot about myself, a recent college grad.

    I no longer own a CD player (other than the one that came in my car) and I actually just donated my CD collection (over 120 CDs) to charity, not because I'm generous but because no body wanted them.

     

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  18.  
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    Chris, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 11:02am

    Survey's are useless information

    This is a survey, and not a report. Why people think that asking a random bunch of college freshmen who had nothing better to do with their day will provide any kind of factual information representative of the REAL NUMBERS is absurd. What they really need is a survey of how many kids right out of highschool purposely provided false information on surveys.

    Didn't read the article because I don't care, but it only looks like "438 students" took the survey to begin with. Amherst seems to be a very small private college of about 2000 students total and specializes in liberal arts. Therefore, a non-technical shcool where almost every student needs a 4.0 or better to even get accepted probably isnt going to concern themselves much with the use of a computer beyond typing up their latest research paper, and visiting social notworking sites. And, because they get to spend the rest of eternity paying off their student-laons, they probably don't need an extra bill for $25m to have another means of contacting people.

    The only usefull information this survey can provide is reinforcing what is already known, technology that enables an individual to partake in or access areas of interest more readily and easily is going to be popular, and the oboslete technology is going to die off.

    If I were a student at this college I'd do a survey about how many of my teachers or admistrators were doing similarlly uneeded tasks that waste time, money, and resources that could be put to much greater use.

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re: Vinyl

    ^^^^ sounds like your kids are pretty ignorant, give them a book.

     

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  20.  
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    some old guy, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Wow

    I managed to fight off terrorists who wanted to gay marriage my children with my God Fearing American Telephone. Cell phones and VOIP is for Commies. POTS is my copilot.

     

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  21.  
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    Charlie, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 11:35am

    Why I 'member when I had to peek into rich people's winders to watch a little teevee.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, but why post it when it's not statistically significant?

     

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  23.  
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    Mike (profile), Sep 30th, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Survey's are useless information

    This is a survey, and not a report. Why people think that asking a random bunch of college freshmen who had nothing better to do with their day will provide any kind of factual information representative of the REAL NUMBERS is absurd.

    Actually, it's not a survey. It's based on data from the campus tech department, based on how many devices were registered on the network and how many landlines were ordered.

    The Facebook numbers were based on Facebook.

    So... the rest of your post is meaningless. You bitch and complain about a survey when this was not a survey.

     

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  24.  
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    Jake, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Fairly Obvious

    Laptops are actually getting more powerful these days, to the point where they're becoming semi-fashionable alternatives to a desktop as one's primary home computer. I doubt I'm the only field service engineer out there who finds this incredibly annoying.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 30th, 2008 @ 8:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Wow

    some old over-reacting dumbass

     

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  26.  
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    Buzz, Oct 1st, 2008 @ 12:42pm

    Desktops rock

    I like desktops muuuuuch more than laptops. Sure, laptops will continue to gain popularity (and there is nothing wrong with that), but anyone who claims desktops will be dead soon are in the same arena as those who claimed technology would render paper obsolete. I always prefer working at a desktop with a full-sized keyboard, full-sized mouse, TWO full-sized monitors, etc. Plus, I don't have to deal with overheating issues (an unfortunate circumstance with my current laptop).

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 2nd, 2008 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Amherst vs Amherst College

    Well, there are 3 colleges in Amherst - There are also two other Amherst's within a few hours ride of here. I guessed from the class size, but I've lived here 20 years.

     

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