Social media networking sites are growing new leaps everyday, but their popularity might be the link to lower grades among students.
According to a study by doctoral candidate Aryn Karpinski of Ohio State University and her co-author Adam Duberstein of Ohio Dominican University, college students who are members of Facebook have significantly lower grade-point averages than those who are not.
Kathleen Loughlina, a spokesperson for Facebook, dismissed the study saying, “It’s equally convenient to characterize TV and video game usage as time-consuming distractions. Yet there’s academic research that touts the benefits of these activities and services like Facebook. Regardless, it’s in the hands of students, in consultation with their parents, to define priorities and decide how to spend their time.”
Zota Korti, 21, a senior Psychology student who uses Facebook, said that there is no correlation between social sites and lower grades.
“Students can’t just blame Facebook. They need to take responsibility for their grades, Korti said. “If you’re dumb enough to stay on Facebook all night, then you should reconsider why you came to college.”
Other students agree that Facebook has become a phenomenon on college campuses.
“When you walk into the library, instead of everyone doing work, they’re all on Facebook,” said Regina Flowers, 22, a senior health information management student.
Duberstein, co-author of the study, believes that Facebook could be used in order to provide academic resources and homework help.
“It has loads of untapped educational potential, as it could provide for more academically-oriented discussions, a way for students to showcase their resumes and as an avenue to remind students about important dates and deadlines,” said Duberstein.
Facebook may be a great way to stay in touch with students and colleagues across the
globe. Duberstein said she believes that educators should use Facebook to reach out to students.
“There are more students who use it than those who don’t…it’s important for me as an adviser and a teacher to ‘meet’ my students where they are and to adapt to them and their needs.”
With more than 200 million users, Duberstein said that Facebook is like “fire.”
“I say Facebook is like fire because the way that fire can either help cook people dinner, or it can burn down people’s homes,” said Duberstein. “Society, however, educates people about how to harness fire’s power wisely. Society needs to do the same thing with Facebook, and educate people how to use it to their benefit.”