Research: Social media has negative impact on academic performance

By Denny Carter, Managing Editor
April 17th, 2013

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.

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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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