A recent study conducted by the Department of Communications at William Paterson University showed college students are consuming media at an enormous rate, predominately on their smartphone devices.
The study found only about 10 percent of college students use televisions as their primary way to consume videos and TV programs. Instead, students use their smartphones.
BYU students cite several reasons why they prefer to watch television and stream videos on smartphones.
English major Megan Taylor said she watches Netflix and Amazon Prime on her phone because her data plan allows for unlimited streaming of videos.
“Most times it’s easier to use my phone when the wi-fi is slow,” Taylor said.
Communication disorders major Sapphire Sillivan said watching TV on her phone is convenient because she can watch a show while cooking or getting ready in the morning.
“I find I don’t have time to just sit and watch something, so streaming on my phone gives me a moment to destress but not waste time,” Sillivan said.
Freshman Tyler Brimhall said he watches Netflix on his phone to pass the time when he donates plasma. He said it’s convenient because he always has his phone with him.
“It’s just too much work sometimes to get out my computer, and so I use my phone a lot of the time to watch TV,” Brimhall said.
Parents of BYU students were surprised to learn how many college students use their phones to watch TV.
Lisa Poplawski of California and mother of one BYU student said she thinks for college students watching television on smartphones it is a matter of convenience and cost.
“I’m even guilty of watching shows on my laptop,” Poplawski said. “On the whole, I think when we as a society watch everything on devices, it limits the interaction that happens between people around us.”
W.L. Burton of Nebraska, parent of two BYU students, said students should check with their parents to make sure they have a data package that all of their media usage.
“Also, more importantly, because in my opinion TV watching — particularly binge watching, is a huge time waster — and perhaps students should find a more productive hobby,” Burton said.