I found a very interesting article in the New York Times about the influence of Facebook on college student grades. Facebook’s impact on student grades by Rebecca R. Ruiz talks about a study done in Lock Haven University by Professor Reynol Junco.
His goal was to determine how student grades can be affected by Facebook activities.
In this article they talk about the impact of overall time on Facebook to the students GPA’s. Also they establish a relation between using Facebook and participating in extracurricular activities. It also talks about the amount of time spent on Facebook and the outcomes it has. The article says that people who share links and who check what their friends are doing, are more likely to have better grades than people who post status updates.
Also spending a lot of time on Facebook has negatives outcomes whereas just checking Facebook for a few minutes doesn’t have those negative outcomes. Also the article says that the amount of time spent on Facebook does not affect the amount of time spent studying.
Although I do understand the fact that people on Facebook engage in more extracurricular activities, I have doubts about the other information provided in the article.
It makes sense that people who do more activities try to add the friends they make during those activities to their friends on Facebook in order to keep contact with them. Also Facebook connects you with friends who might see you are not doing anything and invite you to go do something with them instead. Facebook is then used to talk about what happened during the day and put pictures of their activity.
I can also understand how the amount of time spent on Facebook doesn’t really affect the time studying, because if you have decided not to study, even if you do not go on Facebook you will find something else to do.
What I don’t understand is the link between posting statuses and bad grades and on the contrary posting links and good grades. I do not see the connection.
This article focuses on grades but I can see a few other issues for students that come with Facebook. First of all students become used with instant messaging and do not get used to face-to-face communication. This can lead to people being less social. Also this might be a big problem for when they enter the professional world. The second issue is the way people are starting to write on these social networking sites. People use emoticons instead of words to describe their feelings and barely make a whole sentence anymore.
Although Facebook is great to keep contact with people who live far away, it might lead to big problems for young people and not only in college (affects their grades) but also later in their professional life.