In a study, 34 percent of students said they used Facebook while studying.

Combining studying with Facebook, Twitter, and text messaging proves a bad mix for college students, while a healthy dose of old-fashioned eMail usage might help boost grade point averages, according to the latest research in the debate surrounding social media in higher education.

Posted Sept. 19 on the blog of social media researcher Reynol Junco, the study charged that scanning Facebook news feeds and sending texts while studying were “negatively related to overall GPA,” echoing findings from social media research presented in the past two years.

Using eMail while studying was an entirely different story.

Incorporating eMail into schoolwork had a positive impact on student grades, likely because students use eMail to communicate with professors and teaching assistants, according to the study, “A Decade of Distractions: How Multitasking Affects Student Outcomes.”

In other words, students use eMail for academic purposes, while social media sites like Twitter and Facebook are social web activities usually unrelated to homework or studying.

Fifty-two percent of study respondents said they send and receive texts while doing schoolwork, and 34 percent said they used Facebook while studying.

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