Over the last decade, the world has seen the creation and explosion of social media and the ways in which it has changed our lives. For many college students, Facebook, Twitter and the like, have become part of the everyday routine, appearing almost critical to our survival. It is no surprise then that many students have blamed these addictive sites for decreasing grades and distractions. However, a recent study conducted by Rey Junco, a professor in the Department of Academic Development and Counseling at Loch Haven University, concluded that these excuses made by students may not be so true.
Junco’s survey of 1,839 college students not only found that there was no hard evidence to say that Facebook negatively affects grades, but it also found that sharing links and checking out your “friends'” activities is almost academic; like reading the newspaper or watching the news, these are additional ways that students can keep themselves ‘in the know’ about what is going on in the world around them.
The study was the first of its kind “to look at the frequency that students engage in certain Facebook activities…It is also the first to look at times students checked Facebook, time spent on Facebook, use a large sample, use student transcripts rather than self-reported grades and consider high school GPA.”
While the study may have found that for every 93 minutes spent on Facebook, a students GPA decreased by .12 points, this would only mean that students would need to spend exorbitant amounts of time on the web for it to actually have an impact on their grades, said a spokeperson for the National Parent Teacher Association.
So for those of you whose parents tell you that all the time you have wasted on Facebook is hurting your grades, they are wrong. Not only is it not hurting your grades, but the time actually isn’t wasted – students actually learn from Facebook, as it has become almost a necesssary part of their lives.