“A university student who goes out on the weekend to grab a slice of pizza with friends, for example, sees only those fellow students who are also out socializing, not those who are spending their evenings watching television alone in their dorm rooms,” the study said.

Cornell’s research is the latest study to debunk misconceptions about Facebook, which began as a social networking site for college students only.

Students in a University of New Hampshire marketing research course last year surveyed more than 1,100 fellow students about their use of popular social media web sites such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and they found “no correlation between the amount of time students spend using social media and their grades.”

The student researchers classified light users of social media as respondents who spent less than 31 minutes every day on social networking sites. Heavy users, according to the study, spent more than an hour daily on social media sites.

Sixty-three percent of heavy users earned high grades—A’s and B’s—while 65 percent of light users received high marks.

The New Hampshire student study also revealed how ubiquitous Facebook has become among college students.

Ninety-six percent of respondents said they log on to Facebook at least once a day, while 84 percent perused YouTube, and 20 percent read various blogs. A mere 12 percent used MySpace daily, and 10 percent said they log on to LinkedIn.


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