Does Facebook Use Result In Bad Grades?

-Failing Grades-So maybe Facebook isn’t the social network for college students anymore. At least not the college students that are using Facebook to improve their learning experience. What started out as a tool for connecting students with each other and with their professors has become a distraction of sorts for college students, according to a new survey conducted at Ohio State University, reports Live Science. The survey results show that students that spend time on Facebook see a GPA between 3.0-3.5, compared to the 3.5-4.5 GPA of non-Facebook users. Whoa.

Still, correlation is not causation. And the Yahoo article is quick to point out that students likely to have lower GPAs are those likely to be distracted by something like Facebook. It makes sense. Some students actually like to have fun when they’re in school, and value the college experience beyond gaining a perfect GPA. Now that Facebook has expanded beyond a networking tool for nerds, the changing attitudes are reflected in this Ohio State survey.

Facebook and its applications, from photo albums to those third party apps launched through Facebook’s platform, can be a huge distraction for just about anyone. That goes for high school students, college students, and employees. It doesn’t help that Facebook has made its network available across mobile devices as well, enabling our penchant for escapism on the go.

I’ve occasionally have Facebook distractions myself, constantly checking for photo tags after a conference, refreshing my notifications page to see what comments have been left on my latest album upload, and even whittling away 25 minutes of my work day on a word game app I’m supposed to be reviewing. I’m a firm believer that distractions can actually help us focus. There’s nothing wrong with taking a mental break for fun, in order to regroup and *refocus*. But it is up to the individual to allot their time wisely, and not fall into the trappings of Facebook fun.

Nevertheless, a study such as the one performed by Ohio State could raise concern around Facebook and its ability to lure users into hours of wasted time. In the same way corporate America sought to restrict Facebook access, so too could colleges and universities. I doubt that would ever happen, especially as there are actual applications that are designed to help students. Facbook is a very useful networking tool for students and professionals alike. Reacting negatively to the Ohio State survey, from an institutional standpoint, would only make matters worse.