Buzzing to a new beat

Andrew Gaug

Study says iPods are more popular than beer among students

It’s possible these days that college students are more interested in listening to their favorite songs than tipping back a few bottles of beer. At least that’s what a recent survey conducted by Ridgewood, New Jersey-based Student Monitor concluded.

The biannual study, conducted in March with full-time undergraduate students across 100 college campuses, found 73 percent of the 1,200 college students surveyed classified iPods as “in,” while drinking beer tied with the social networking Web site in second place with 71 percent.

Other interests that ranked high in the study were text messaging, drinking other types of alcohol, downloading music, going to clubs and working out.

According to Student Monitor, this is only the second time in the study’s 18-year history that drinking beer has been dethroned from the top spot – the first time being in 1997 when the Internet reigned as number one.

Last year, iPods trailed far behind beer. Only 59 percent of students said the music devices were “in.” This year they did well with students overall, but were even more popular with Hispanics and women – ranking 77 and 76 percent among those demographics.

Though some people may expect college students to be more interested in their iPods than cracking open a of case beer, senior psychology major Danielle Seidita said iPods isolate students .

“It’s very unfortunate,” she said. “It really makes communication extinct and separates community and on a larger scale – our sense of unity as a country.”

Dave Ramsey and Brent Wheeler, computer information systems seniors, argued that not all students who attend college are of the legal drinking age.

“Maybe (college students) don’t like to admit that they drink,” Wheeler said. He also suggested that maybe beer is such an accepted interest with college students that it is just a given.

Ramsey made a simpler conclusion. “Not everyone drinks,” he said.

Others found it interesting.

“(It’s) kind of funny. I wasn’t expecting that,” said Laura Fry, junior visual communication design major. “But it makes sense.”

It will remain to be seen if the Apple-based MP3 player will still be the reigning interest next year, but for now, senior sociology major Michelle Long sees the change as a good thing.

“Music is better than filling your body with a poisonous substance,” she said.

Contact features reporter Andrew Gaug at [email protected].

The Associated Press also contributed to this story.