Smartphone usage surges on campus, seen as necessity

By Xu Sichang Source:Agencies Published: 2013-3-31 20:38:15

A recent survey by Central China Normal University in Wuhan, Hubei Province, indicates that 80.8 percent of college students in Wuhan now have a smartphone. These gadgets are increasingly perceived as necessities rather than status symbols, based on campus interviews carried out by the China News Service. 

According to media reports, more than 20,000 Wuhan college students took out loans to buy their smartphones. Many borrowed money without reason to believe they would be able to repay their creditors in time.

Experts view the phenomenon as nothing more than consumption driven by vanity.

However, for these young people, smartphones are not a means of showing off wealth so much as they are an indispensable necessity in daily life.

While the temptation to flaunt the latest technology may have some allure, most students feel that mobile applications are important for communication and entertainment, including WeChat, QQ and Sina Weibo, as well as schedule management software.

A senior at Dalian Nationalities University who wished to use the pseudonym Wang Xue just upgraded to an iPhone.

"Smartphones are definitely more convenient than normal phones. There are more applications available and more powerful functions. Without my smartphone, I wouldn't be able to contact my friends abroad via WeChat. Anyway, it is a necessity to me," Wang told the Global Times on Sunday. 

While most students agreed that smartphones are very convenient, some still say they are not indispensable.

"We can use other means of communication, like computers and the Internet," Hu Wei, a senior at Sun Yat-Sen University, told the Global Times.

One experts in communication doesn't see the move toward smart phones as good or bad. Professor Chen Lidan at the Renmin University of China sees this trend as merely a consumer trend.

"Students have the right to choose what kind of mobile phone to buy. I don't think it's necessary to judge them."

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