Facebook hits exam results by 20%…In other news, if you study 88% less, you’ll do 20% worse on the test.

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Talk about headline grabbing. Ugh! The real findings are that people who use Facebook “study” (not sure how they operationalized that) 88% less than those who don’t use the site (how did they find any??).

Here’s a link to the abstract. I guess I’ll have to wait a little while until I can see what they did. The abstract looks vague, which isn’t a good sign. Lest you think I doubt this finding, however. I don’t. I’m just glad I didn’t have Facebook when I was young. The immense time-suck it is would have swallowed me whole. I have problems with it as an adult.

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Facebook® and academic performance

Paul A. Kirschner and Aryn C. Karpinski

Abstract

There is much talk of a change in modern youth – often referred to as digital natives or Homo Zappiens – with respect to their ability to simultaneously process multiple channels of information. In other words, kids today can multitask. Unfortunately for proponents of this position, there is much empirical documentation concerning the negative effects of attempting to simultaneously process different streams of information showing that such behavior leads to both increased study time to achieve learning parity and an increase in mistakes while processing information than those who are sequentially or serially processing that same information. This article presents the preliminary results of a descriptive and exploratory survey study involving Facebook use, often carried out simultaneously with other study activities, and its relation to academic performance as measured by self-reported Grade Point Average (GPA) and hours spent studying per week. Results show that Facebook® users reported having lower GPAs and spend fewer hours per week studying than nonusers.

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