For the seventh consecutive year the Mendik Library surveyed 1Ls during First Week library tours about some of their digital inclinations. Below is a quick summary. You can see all the survey questions (and the responses) here.
In addition to telling us their favorite pizza topping (answer below), 318 members of the classes of 2016/17 responded to questions about:
- their preferences in electronic communication;
- their social networking activity;
- their usage of Twitter, E-Books, Blogs, and Podcasts; and
- the devices (Smartphones, Tablets, E-Book Readers, etc.) they owned.
Some earlier trends are continuing, including an increased use of social media, though this year witnessed an upsurge in the use of Instagram (with a concomitant decrease in Facebook usage). E-mail as a preference in electronic communication resumed what had been a steady decline while text messaging continued to grow. E-Book usage also continued its gains. The latter is consistent with a fifty-percent jump in students’ ownership of iPads or other Tablet devices.
- The percentage of students who preferred E-mail to other forms of electronic communication resumed its decline after a small upward blip last year. Only 32% prefer E-mail, the lowest number we’ve seen in seven years. By contrast . . .
- the preference for mobile-based text messaging continued its steady ascent, jumping almost 10 points to 58%. Draw your own conclusion but those reporting a preference for BlackBerry Messaging, was zero!
- continued a trend of increasing daily use, with 60% claiming use more than once per day, compared to 52% last year and the sixth straight year witnessing an increase.
- Among “Smartphones,” BlackBerry lost more than half its users, dropping from 15% to 7%. The iPhone surged once again, to 77% (up from 62%) but the Android seems to have stumbled, retreating from last year’s 21% to 16%.
- Ownership of an iPad or other Tablet grew by half, from 30% in 2012 to 46% this year.
- Ownership of E-Book Readers increased this year, from 16% to 23%, up from 4% when the question was first asked in 2010.
- Although Facebook remains the dominant social networking site for these students, at 54%, Instagram has marked an aggressive gain to 24%, picking up the twenty percentage points Facebook lost from last year. Almost 11% of the class, the same percentage as last year, does not use any social networking site . . . but those who are users . . .
- Questions about Twitter appeared for just the third time; although the number of students who have a Twitter account jumped to 53% (from 38% in 2011 and 46% in 2012), Tweeting “occasionally” is the only category that saw a noticeable increase, reaching 22% compared to last year’s 17% and 2011’s 14%. The number of Twitter feeds students follow has increased again only modestly – those following more than five feeds increased from 32% to 35% but the number following between one and five feeds remained flat.
- The number of blog/RSS subscribers and readers has continued to decline slowly, down to 28%.
- Podcasts finally experienced a slight uptick with the percentage of students who downloaded or listened to 1-5 Podcasts growing from 20% in 2012 to 30% in 2013, and those who downloaded or listened to more than five Podcasts increased marginally (from 15% to 16%). The number of students who did not know what a Podcast was matched last year’s highest level ever, 13%.
- Continuing what had become a steady trend, the popularity of Macs compared to PCs increased once again, reaching 64%, up from 57% last year.
- When it comes to web browsers, two majors (Firefox and Internet Explorer) each lost a little more ground to Google Chrome, which is now favored by 34% of incoming students. Firefox fell from 23% in 2012 to 18%; IE fell from 16% to 13%. The only thing stopping Chrome seemed to be Safari, which climbed from 27% to 34%.
- Google continues to reign as the undisputed search engine of choice (94%), with Yahoo advancing over last year to 3%, and Bing bringing up the rear with 2%. AOL scored a zero with these students.
- For only the fourth time, we asked students which electronic devices they owned.
- Along with the increasing ownership of Tablet devices, more students are taking advantage of E-Books – 68% (up from 59% in 2012) said they have used their computer or another electronic device (e.g., iPad or other Tablet, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader or Smartphone application) to view an E-Book.
- Finally, Pepperoni came out on top once again as students’ favorite pizza topping, pulling in a hearty 30% of the vote compared to Mushrooms, the nearest contender with 14%. At 13%, Extra Cheese fell back to third place.
For more information and the complete survey results, click here.