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Study: College students spend way too much time on Facebook

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
September 2nd, 2011
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

A study at Ohio State University has found that college students who use Facebook have lower grades and spend less time studying. According to Aryn Karpinski, a co-author of the study, and doctoral student in education at Ohio State University, says that "perhaps the lower GPAs could actually be because students are spending too much time socializing online."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "There may be other factors involved, such as personality traits, that link Facebook use and lower grades," Karpinski notes. 

"It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying, and would still get lower grades."

Facebook users in the study had GPAs between 3.0 and 3.5, while non-users had GPAs between 3.5 and 4.0. Facebook users said that they averaged one to five hours a week studying, while non-users studied 11 to 15 hours per week.

Karpinski said it was significant that the link between lower grades and Facebook use was found even in graduate students. 

Graduate students generally have GPAs above 3.5, so the fact that even they had lower grades when they used Facebook and spent less time studying, was a highly intriguing finding.

"I confess that I'm a little wary of some of Karpinski's generalizations." Scott McLeod of the Dangerously Irrelevant Web site says.

"Although she noted that other factors may be involved besides Facebook use or non-use, the ones that she hypothesized have to do with personality traits and/or predilection for online socialization.

"Right now I'm not totally convinced that these findings don't just represent the fact that about 80 percent of her non-Facebook users were graduate students. I think it's safe to say that grad students generally spend more time studying than undergrads. Also, as she noted, grad students' GPAs typically are higher," McLeod writes.

"We all should look at - and think carefully about - any research findings that get reported out like this. We need to ask questions like Does this make gut-level sense? Are the generalizations limited to the data or overbroad? What more do I need to know to be confident in these findings?"

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