Internet Usage Among Youth

A Study of Private Mass Com Institutes in South Delhi

Professor (Dr.) Manoj Dayal*
Varinder Verma**


Various national and international reports suggest increasing use of the internet across the globe. The Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) in a report concluded that there are about 354 million internet users across the globe as of June 2015, with about 213 million users accessing the World Wide Web on mobile devices. Out of the 354 million users, 216 million come from the urban population. In the last year, the number has risen by 26 percent. Indians are not far behind in using the internet. About two-thirds of the country’s population is below the age of 35. As per IAMAI, Delhi stands second in the number of mobile users with 12.15 million, while Mumbai is number one with 16.4 million users.

Earlier, it took the world one decade to grow from 10 million users to 100 million users, but in the last three years, the number of users jumped from 100 million to a whopping 300 million! In this, a large number is below 35 years of age, i.e. youth. With the launch of the Digital India campaign by the government of India, various markets, railway stations, airports, and other important locations will soon become free Wi-Fi zones, bringing free internet to people, thereby increasing its usage tremendously. While the internet has raised the speed of information sharing to a level that was unimaginable in the near past, it has also increased the digital divide in the country. Broadband connectivity has still not reached the rural areas of the country.

The research has studied internet use among the students of two private mass communication colleges of New Delhi, as these represent youth with knowledge about information-sharing tools such as mobile phones, SMS, and mobile apps. It has shown us how the youth use the internet, their preferred platforms, and the kind of content accessed. Clearly, the internet has given new dimensions to the communication process, its speed, and accuracy.

Research objectives

  • To know the average duration of internet consumption per day
  • To find out the most preferred platform to use the internet
  • To explore the main purpose behind using the internet
  • To know about the types of videos watched on the internet

Research methodology

A survey was conducted on one hundred mass communication students studying in two private institutes of South Delhi, Take One School of Mass Communication and IAAN School of Mass Communication. Stratified Random Sampling was done by taking 50 students each from both the institutes. A questionnaire was formulated with questions related to the usage of the internet, its need, and purpose in day-to-day life.

Data analysis

Table 1: Usage of the internet in a day

As the table shows, it was found that most youths devote 45 percent of their time (more than three hours) to the internet, while 19 percent devote less than an hour daily. For those who use the internet for one to two hours and two to three hours in a day respectively, the percentages are equal, i.e. 18 percent. There is a slight difference-of 0.9 per cent-between male and female students using the internet for more than three hours a day. More females (about 9.4 percent higher) than males use the internet for an hour daily. Among the men surveyed, about 20 percent use the internet for two to three hours, while about 14 percent of females use it for the same duration daily. There is a difference of about 2 percent between males and females who use the internet every day for one to two hours. So, 45 percent of males and females with less than one percent difference between them-use the internet daily for more than three hours.

Bar Chart 1. Usage of the Internet, Gender Wise

Knowledge about operating smartphones

Table 2. Knowledge about using a smartphone

The youth are comfortable using a smartphone as Table 2 shows, with the percentage standing at 98. A hundred percent of male students are acquainted with smartphones, while just 5.6 percent of females are uncomfortable in using a smartphone. This underlines the increasing popularity of smartphones and their advanced functions such as the internet, mobile apps, and games.

Bar Chart 2. Knowledge of smartphones among the youth

The preferred platform for internet access

Table 3. The preferred machine of using the Internet

More than half of the youth use the internet on the mobile-33 out of 64 male respondents, at a percentage of about 50, and 23 out of 36 female respondents, at a percentage of about 64. In total, the figure stands at 56 percent youth accessing the internet on the mobile and about 24 percent using the laptop for surfing. About one-fourth of the males and females surveyed prefer to use the internet on the laptop. The desktop is the third preferred machine for using the internet with 16 percent, followed by tablets with 4 percent. Mobile is the most favorite platform of internet users has also been shown in the IAMAI study, which underlines that the mobile internet user base is expanding more than other platforms.

Bar chart 3. Preferred mode of using internet

Time devoted to internet usage

Table 4. Duration of daily internet usage and the preferred mode

Internet is mostly used on mobile (56 percent) than on laptops (24 percent). Of the 45 percent of the sample base that accesses the internet for more than three hours in a day, about 67 percent, i.e. two-thirds use it on their phones and about 18 percent use it on laptops. About 47 percent of respondents spend about an hour daily on the internet using the mobile. But most of the youth, i.e. about 32 percent, use the internet on the desktop for an hour in a day, while about 44 percent of internet users use the laptop for about two hours in a day.

Bar Chart 4. Preferred mode of internet usage

Purpose of using internet

Table5. The purpose for the usage of the internet

Table 5 shows that about 52 percent of youth use the internet for seeking information on World Wide Web. Twenty-three percent of the youth use it for social media, while 16 percent surf educational material on the internet. More females (61.1%) than males (46.9 percent) seek information on the internet. About 30 percent of the males prefer using the internet for social media, while females give preference to education after information. It is also important to note that females don’t use the internet for entertainment. Using the internet for chatting and email is less than 5 percent, with males using it about 2 percent more than females.

Bar Chart: 5. Purpose of using internet gender wise

Purpose of internet usage by time devoted in a day

Table 6: Duration and purpose for usage of internet (in a day)

More than half the youth who use the internet daily access information for different durations in which the maximum period is more than three hours. About one-fourth of the youth spend time for social networking over the internet in which two to three hours in a day is the maximum time devoted. Internet usage for education is about 16 percent and about 32 percent use the internet for about one hour a day. Youth rarely give time to entertainment and chatting or emailing, with only five and four percent, respectively, going for it. About 10 percent of youth, who use the internet for about an hour daily use it for entertainment.

Bar Chart: 6. Purpose of using the internet as per time devoted

Types of videos watched by youth on the internet

Table 7. Types of videos watched

About 40 percent of youth prefer to watch informational videos on the internet over listening to songs, which is preferred by 31 percent of the youth surveyed. Fourteen percent of youth like to see funny videos, but only 9 percent wish to watch movies on the internet. Mere 6 percent search educational programs. Forty-one percent of female respondents prefer songs, while about 47 percent of males watch information videos. Males give second preference to songs (25 percent), while females give second preference to informational videos. About 20 percent of females like to see funny videos on the internet and about 11 percent of males watch comedy videos.

 Bar Chart 7. Videos watched on the internet gender wise


45 percent of the youth use the internet for more than three hours daily, with both males and females embracing it almost equally.

98 percent of the young generation knows how to handle smartphones.

56 percent of the youth prefer to use the internet on their mobiles, whereas about 24 percent prefer their laptops. More females use the internet on mobile than males.

52 percent of the youth use the internet for seeking information, while about one-fourth use social networking. About 61 percent of females use the internet for information, which is 15 percent more than males. With a difference of 18 percent males use the internet more for social networking than females.

Informational videos are most viewed by the youth on the internet, i.e. 40 percent and 31 percent of the young generation prefers to watch informational videos and listen to songs on the internet. About 45 percent of males use the internet for informational videos and one-fourth of them use it for listening to songs.


  • Books/Journals
  • National Mission for Education, Information and Communication Technology.
  • Journal of Communication Studies
  • International Journal of Communication
  • Media Mimansa
  • Information and Communication Technologies: Visions and Realities by Dutton William
  • Indian Express newspaper
  • IAMAI report


*       Professor
**      Research Scholar, Department of C.M.T, GJU S&T, Hisar

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