In the book Connecting to the Net. Generation: What Higher Education Professionals Need to Know About Today's Students, a survey of 7,705 college students in the United States revealed the following:
- 97% own a computer;
- 94% own a cellular phone;
- 76% used instant messaging;
- 49% download music using peer-to-peer file sharing;
- 75% have a Facebook account;
- 60% own some type of portable music and/or video device such as an iPod;
- 90% have had premarital sex.
As we look at the statistics, we recognise that this is no ordinary generation.
Born between the early 1980s and 2000s, their parents are confounded by them, workplaces are baffled by their attitude and work ethics, evangelism strategies are challenged by them, and society is demoralised by their seeming lack of common sense; scant regard for high morals, values and standards; and little or no respect for their elders.
Could it be that their birth into a technological world has rewired their minds and reprogrammed their lives, thus crafting a new and emerging fabric of society?
In 1996, Dr Kimberly Young, in her seminal paper, indicated that computer use meets the criterion for an addiction and, therefore, should be included in the next iteration of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.