Stop worrying about that status update and pay attention to the professor. Your GPA will thank you.
A new study from Ohio State University, published at LiveScience, points out that college kids who use Facebook have lower grades, on the whole, than students who don’t use the social networking behemoth.
This correlation was gleaned by Aryn Karpinksi, an education researcher at OSU who compared grades of non-users to those who do and found a large disparity in GPA.
"I'm just saying that there's some kind of relationship there, and there's many third variables that need to be studied," Karpinski said.
Karpinski’s study found that Facebook user GPAs averaged around 3.0 to 3.5 compared with 3.5 to 4.0 for non-users. Facebook users also studied anywhere from one to five hours per week, compared to non-users who studied 11 to 15 or more hours per week.
Karpinski rightly points out that correlation does not equal causation, and Facebook might not be the reason for the lower grades. But it does offer some insight into personality type. Karpinski theorizes that users of the web site are more prone to distractions than non-users.
Facebook users, for instance, are more likely to go to spend their time on non studying activities such as listening to music or playing sports or partying. Likewise, non-users are more likely to be working at a structured activity like a part-time job.
Researchers say the data have helped them better understand the profile of the average Facebooker. Early findings show that over 85 percent of undergrads use Facebook, compared to 52 percent of grad students.
Karpinski will present her research to the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association on April 16.