When I recently wrote an article on How Facebook Makes People Dumber, I was just having fun and taking some sarcastic shots at some of the sillier, time-wasting aspects of Facebook. However, Time Magazine just came out with an article titled, What Facebook Users Share: Lower Grades. A recent study by doctoral canidate Aryn Karpinski of Ohio State University and her co-author Adam Duberstein of Ohio Dominican University found that “college students who use Facebook spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than students who have not signed up for the social networking website.”
In fact, results of the study were more telling than you might think, “typically, Facebook users in the study had GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users had GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0.” To back up these results, Facebook users said they averaged studying 1 t0 5 hours a week while non-users averaged studying 11 to 15 hours a week!
Despite these findings, 79% of Facebook users claimed the social networking site did not have an impact on their academic performance. Maybe Facebook is an even more powerful force than we first thought–not only is it making our college students dumber–but they are s0 wrapped up in it that they are in denial of its affects on their lower grades!
Apparently, this isn’t the first time someone has suggested a connection between Facebook and “diminished mental abilities.” In February, “Oxford University neuroscientist Susan Greenfield cautioned Britain’s House of Lords that social networks like Facebook and Bebo were ‘infantilizing the brain into the state of small children” by shortening the attention span and providing constant instant gratification.'”
While Karpinski and Duberstein admit that their study cannot prove a 1 to 1 correlation between Facebook and lower grades, Facebook users need to be aware (myself included) that Facebook is prime distraction material, sure to affect our school and perhaps even our job performance. As a Christian, if it can affect academic performance, then surely it can affect my devotional life as well.
I would say more, but I need to go change my Facebook status . . .