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The misuse of the Internet and mobile technologies by individuals, both in the business environment and in the educational environment, is defined as cyberloafing.

In other words, it is when individuals leave aside their responsibilities in the environment they are in, for example, an employee fulfills his duties at work or a student surfs the Internet instead of taking care of his class in the classroom.

Of course, the main problem here is that these behaviors are performed during business hours or in the classroom. Cyberloafing emerges as either surfing the Internet while the individual has a job to do, or surfing the Internet while dealing with his job and out of purpose at the same time, that is, multitasking.

While individuals are cyberloafing, they engage in activities such as correspondence (Whatsapp, Messenger, etc.) , personal e-mail control, playing games, downloading music, following the news, and shopping in social media. As online access opportunities increase, cyberloafing is, unfortunately, increasing at the same rate.

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So Who Are These Cyberloafing Individuals?

In fact, we are all cyberloafing, regardless of male or female. While the first studies in the literature on this subject show that men do more cyberloafing, recent studies show that cyberloafing is done at almost the same level, regardless of male or female.

Of course, women’s catching up with men in terms of Internet proficiency over time and the widespread use of social networking environments that have increased in recent years have had an impact on this situation. In fact, the gender difference can also vary depending on the purpose of cyberloafing .

While men browse the internet for gaming, betting and news sites and to carry out their personal business, women, as expected, write more on social media. However, the most recent studies show that men do as much cyberloafing as women by texting on social media .

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In the literature, it is stated that individuals who engage in cyberloafing in the workplace are generally dissatisfied with their jobs, especially young and male employees, while those who work in high-level positions with high income and education are more likely to do cyberloafing.

As job performance and satisfaction declines, cyberloafing increases at the same rate.

Again, according to the literature, students who have a high level of success in the educational environment and have more Internet use experience surprisingly do more cyberloafing.

At the same time, this group is generally made up of male students.

Cyberloafing in the Business Environment

Activities evaluated within the scope of cyberloafing in the workplace are defined as individual-purpose Internet activities, not corporate.

Correspondence and follow-up on social media, reading newspapers, betting and playing games, etc. In addition to the activities, personal e-mail control is also referred to as cyberloafing , while of course, workplace-oriented activities such as e-mail control at corporate e-mail addresses are not included in this scope.

Well , if you ask what causes cyberloafing, it basically causes poor performance at work and decreases in work efficiency .

Employees often perform cyberloafing by pretending to be doing their job. Institutions, on the other hand, follow or prevent the navigation of employees by taking a number of technical measures on cyberloafing, which causes unnecessary use of the Internet infrastructure.

Cyberloafing in Education Environment

Students sometimes engage in cyberloafing while listening to their teachers in class, doing an activity or working in the laboratory.

In the literature, the reasons for students’ cyberloafing in the lesson are a decrease in motivation, the teacher’s lack of control over the students, stress, the teacher’s lack of knowledge, the methods and strategies used for the lesson, the course materials and contents, and the ineffective communication skills.

While the effective use of computer and mobile technologies in the classroom provides a multimedia-supported, rich, student-centered educational experience that supports active learning, inefficient and ineffective use of these technologies in the classroom can cause cyberloafing.

In addition, even without these technologies, students tend to be cyberloafing with their mobile phones at all times .

Unfortunately, the fact that students perform such behaviors in the lesson can cause distraction, incomplete learning, a decrease in motivation towards the lesson, or an unnecessary cognitive load on the student.

Cyberloafing has reached the level of high school and even secondary education, and
has become a problem that concerns not only our country but the whole world. Moreover , cyberloafing affects not only the individual who does it, but also those who are close to him at that moment
by distracting them and negatively affecting them.

Unfortunately, a ban on the use of mobile phones during lessons cannot be implemented as it falls within the scope of taking away the freedom of communication of individuals.

What should be done to reduce cyberloafing?

Low motivation, ineffective training environment, trainers and applied training methods are some of the factors that cause cyberloafing in the classroom. If a student loses motivation or gets bored in class, they immediately start cyberloafing.

If the student remains passive in the lesson, he or she may be exposed to this threat again. As a result of the researches, it is
recommended to keep the student active and awake in the lesson, that is, to draw the student into the lesson completely as a solution.

In this sense, the method and pedagogy applied in the lesson are very important and instructors should be careful in this regard.

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By Lucas Cleto

Psychology student and technology enthusiast, I have some websites in this niche and I always try to bring the most useful and reliable information possible