The authors explain the connection between IM use and intellectual impairment by examining its use among students. The deduction made is that the number of students using technology is increasing. However, little effort has been made to determine its effect on education, because most studies done on the topic have numerous errors (Junco & Cotten, 2011). This identified gap motivated them to explore this topic, concluding that IM affects academic performance. Junco and Cotton performed various tests in their study, including the Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and survey on target groups to identify how students use IM and its adverse effects on education.
Claims made against the use of IM are that it promotes multitasking which is a distraction to learning. This rationale was justified by examining activities students engaged in while doing their homework. They reported that IM promotes various activities such as social networking and chatting. Additionally, IM affects the fundamental processes of learning by overburdening the mind. This pressure results in less retention of information which significantly impacts performance (Junco & Cotten, 2011). Students also reported having experienced less focus when doing schoolwork while chatting. Additionally, frequent use of this system is detrimental, considering that many students use it to cope with stress.
The authors acknowledge the limitation of this research, indicating that interested researchers must do extensive studies on a broader scale to ensure that its internal and external validity is guaranteed. The reason is that small sample size studies make it difficult to make specific rationales considering they are prone to statistical errors. The authors also examine the other benefits of IM, including being a better stress management strategy (Junco & Cotten, 2011). The authors mention that IM provides contact because it distracts the mind from what is happening in the external environment while secluding the individual from any social interactions.
These authors explore the negative impacts of using IM on academic performance through interesting survey facts. They emphasize that the use of IM is not harmful because it can provide company when needed. However, excessive use of IM limits concentration by distracting the mind from the realities in the environment. When students engage in multitasking activities such as chatting and studying, they lose focus due to this distraction. It also affects essential, incidental, and representational processing systems, which are the basis of learning and retention. Therefore, IM use should be regulated, especially when studying.
Junco, R., & Cotten, S. R. (2011). Perceived academic effects of instant messaging use. Computer & Education, 56(2), 370-378. Web.