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Research: Social media has negative impact on academic performance

Student may have reason to be concerned about excess social media use.

Perusing Facebook, sending rapid-fire text messages, and tweeting back and forth with friends and celebrities alike might not be the best academic strategy, it turns out.

A new study released by researchers at The Miriam Hospital’s Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine shows a link between social media use and poor academic performance. The study wasn’t limited to usage of traditional social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook, but instead included popular social technology like texting.

Freshman women spend upwards of 12 hours a day using some form of social media, researchers found. Social networking and watching movies and TV were most negatively associated with academic performance among the study participants.

Read more about social media in higher education…

Social media in higher education: Pros, cons, and overall impact

Jennifer Walsh, lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Emerging Adulthood, wrote that students who spent the most time using social media had “fewer academic behaviors, such as completing homework and attending class, lower academic confidence and more problems affecting their school work, like lack of sleep and substance use.”

There were two media-related activities that were linked to higher grade point averages: listening to music and reading the newspaper.

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4 Responses to Research: Social media has negative impact on academic performance

  1. bplants

    April 25, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I really hate it when you guys post misleading titles to your articles. In fact, the study says nothing about social media CAUSING a negative impact on academic performance. You could just as easily have substituted driving a car has a negative impact on academic performance if that is what you spend more time doing. The study does nothing but focus on a college student’s time management practices which are generally worse as freshmen and better as seniors. This is just poor journalism to mislead your readers with a sensational headline that’s not true.

  2. janherder

    April 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Agree with @bplants. I’ve been using social media in my teaching and I can say the opposite–students who post consistently in Facebook develop their online persona’s sooner and more professionally. Their ability to reflect on their work is more insightful and collaborative skills are higher. They develop a different attitude to social media and are less apt to post destructive content.

  3. mathonline

    April 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    It does not link time consumption to poor academic performance, as the concluding paragraph suggests the devices save the students’ time. Also it does not link all media to poor performance; reading the newspaper actually improves it. It may be that past studies on the effects of social media were merely inadvertently screening for income, when they tested for Facebook and Twitter, etc. Certainly the more disadvantaged often have lower grades. Today, with device usage becoming more ubiquitous, and especially as they include cell phones which almost everyone has, the truth of its effects comes out.

  4. journalismbackground

    May 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I agree that this has to do with time management but it is misleading to say this is no different than any other activity. As these are minutes that add up all day every day, at the end of the academic year hundreds of hours have been eaten up. I work with students and I see it, the impact on academic performance is that students run out of time to study more and do better and they have no idea where that time goes.

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