Is Social Media Ruining Students?

Here’s a pop quiz for you: are students more or less distracted because of the Internet? Does social media help or hurt students?

According to information gathered from several sources by OnlineEducation.net, Facebook and Twitter are used to great benefit — sometimes. Students welcome online engagement and resources; around 75% of student respondents said they’d like to do some online collaboration for class, in fact.

Also, social media may have a positive impact on students’ sense of themselves in the community. Social media-using students were twice as likely as other students to feel well-liked by their peers and to participate in extracurricular activities. And 20% more of Facebook-using students (as compared to students who didn’t use Facebook) said they felt connected to their school and community.

However, negative effects abound. Students who use Facebook and hit the books simultaneously found their multitasking led to 20% lower grades than those of their more focused peers. Facebook-using students also made less money during school from part-time work, putting in around five hours per week as opposed to 16 hours per week for a typical, unplugged counterpart.

Not only do grades and finances suffer, but students might actually end up feeling more depressed or lonely. Almost half of students believe they are sadder than their friends on Facebook, and 25% of college students have shown signs of severe depression in their status updates at one time or another.

In a word, the results are inconclusive. But with around 96% of all college students on Facebook, only the most dedicated academics would consider giving up social media for a slightly better GPA. Source: OnlineEducation.net via Mashable


4 Comments

  1. Jonathan Peter Robson

    April 28, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Some sort of time limit, in one way or an other – got to be the answer.

  2. Pingback: Social Media and Education | A 3rd Way

  3. Dawn

    April 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Educators must leverage and embed Facebook as an effective tool for delivering instructions and communicating. Facebook has tremendous possibilities in education!

  4. Pheobe

    May 31, 2011 at 4:30 am

    An article on the negative effects of Facebook and Twitter that you can 'like' and 'tweet'. Bit of irony there.