F for Facebook

May 5, 2009, midnight | By Julia Wynn | 11 years, 5 months ago

For all Facebook's social charm and fun applications, parents may now have the proof they need to limit our use of the social network or prohibit it entirely (gasp).

Facebook loyalists realize its potential to distract from homework and studying and this may have a permanent impact on grades, according to a recent study by Ohio State University doctoral candidate Aryn Karpinski. The study found that college students who use Facebook have GPAs between .5 and one point lower than students who don't have Facebooks.

This is not the most surprising conclusion considering TV and other activities that parents claim are destroying brain cells have been shown to have similar effects. Although it would be unfair to claim a direct cause-effect relationship between using Facebook and lower grades, the correlation is indubitable. Facebook users generally spend less time studying during the week than non-users, the study reveals, predictably because they were chatting, browsing the newest videos or stalking friends. The site has an undeniable attractiveness that causes students to put down their textbooks and log in.

It is hard to dispute the facts, but Facebook cannot be the sole factor negatively impacting student users' grades. There are plenty of other Internet sites - we all love FML - and even non-Internet activities that play a large role in causing student procrastination. Past studies have found that constantly playing video games or watching TV can also be detrimental to students' academic achievement. These types of activities, including Facebook, are all mediums students use to avoid schoolwork.

But there is no need to start canceling accounts just yet. It is pointless to give up Facebook when there is a whole host of other activities that will quickly replace it as a procrastination tool. Our only hope is to gain some will power to log off and study. Oh, but wait. There's that Facebook event that we said we were attending.

Julia Wynn. Hello, my name is Julia Wynn and I am looking forward to my senior year as a member of the Silver Chips Online staff. I love to dance (especially poms), listen to music and play piano. My two main food necessities are any kind of … More »

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