Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Facebook, bad M'Kay?

I hate Facebook. Its a very ineffective communication or organization tool, but a very effective time waster.

The distinction between Facebookers and non-Facebookers. Degree of Vapidity? (Sorry Ken, not being personal, just generally speaking.)

Facebook users have lower overall grades than non-users, according to a survey of college students who also ironically said the social networking site does not interfere with studying.

That disconnect between perception and reality does not necessarily mean that Facebook leads to less studying and worse grades -- the grades association could be caused by something else. However, it does raise more questions about how students spend their time outside class on activities such as Facebook, part-time jobs and extracurricular activities.


However, Karpinski emphasized that correlation does not equal causation, meaning Facebook use might not be the culprit behind lower GPAs or less study time.

For instance, students who spend more time enjoying themselves rather than studying might tend to latch onto the nearest distraction, such as Facebook. Or students who use the social networking site might also spend more time on other non-studying activities such as sports or music.

If the above premise holds, Twitterers, or Twits for short, should have even lower grades. Their attendance habits, never mind studying habits, are probably atrocious.


ADHR said...

Mebbe. I'm suspicious of the existence of a confounding variable. After all, I played video games pretty much constantly through my undergrad -- skipped a lot of classes, too. And I did just fine. Maybe whatever predisposes college-age students to Facebook and Twitter also makes it more difficult for them to achieve in an academic environment?

Ken Breadner said...

No need for an apology, I couldn't agree more. Facebook is a huge waste of time. It's a good thing the wife allows me some time to waste.

Catelli said...

Well video games require a certain amount of perseverance, stubbornness in the face of failure, strategy and problem solving.

They do waste time, but it can be constructive.

Facebook (and even more so with Twitter) appeal to surface emotions. Instant gratification without any deep thought or challenge. It may be that overuse of Facebook and Twitter numb the individual into a semi-comatose mental state.

ADHR said...

Mm... I think it depends how you use them. I'm not sure that there's much gained by hours of Bejeweled as opposed to, say, Dungeon Keeper. (God, I'm old.)

Facebook and Twitter can be intellectually provoking if you make them be. Trying to condense a philosophical idea into 140 characters is fairly taxing, for example. And FB is a good resource to connect with others in the academy.

saskboy said...

I'd like a comparison study to be done.

Catelli said...

Saskboy, this conversation is sooo yesterday.