Integration of Internet Use with Public Spaces: College Students’ Use of the Wireless Internet and Offline Socializing


Using survey data of 339 college students, this study explores how wireless Internet use is related to college students’ face-to-face relationships with friends and acquaintances. Beyond simple analysis of total time of wireless Internet use, this study analyzes how location and timing of wireless Internet use is associated with face-to-face interactions. After controlling for demographics and time spent on other activities such as TV viewing and sleeping, wireless Internet use is positively related to the amount of time spent with friends and acquaintances. Specifically, wireless Internet use at school and hotspots is positively related to time spent with friends and acquaintances. Meanwhile, wireless use during both weekdays and weekends is related to increased time with friends and acquaintances.

wireless Internet; social interactions; face-to-face relationship; Internet use in public spaces
Author biography

Namsu Park

Author photoNamsu Park is lecturer of telecommunication at Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea. She received her PhD in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin. Her primary research interest is in the area of new media and society. Her most recent research examines social media use and social capital and in particular, the extent to which social media use and sociability contributes to people’s social capital.

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