Students who use Facebook while studying earn significantly lower grades than students who do not, according to a new study by the Netherlands’ Open University.
According to an article in the Daily Mail, the study revealed that people who used Facebook while studying had test scores 20 percent lower than non-users, even if it was running in the background.
Study author Paul Kirschner said in the article that many people believe they can successfully multi-task and use Facebook at the same time as studying, but in reality it takes more time and leads to more mistakes.
Kirschner’s team studied 219 students ranging in age from 19 to 54 at an American university. Facebook users had an average GPA of 3.06, while non-users had a significantly higher 3.82 GPA.
Some students seem to be catching on to the trend and deactivating their Facebook accounts in order to be more productive. Junior accounting and finance double major Alyssa Berman closed her account for a month before finals.
“I figured since I needed to study for finals, if I deactivated my Facebook that would prevent me from using it as a mode of procrastination,” Berman said.
According to the study, procrastination is a product of social networking. Non-users spent 88 percent more time studying outside the classroom.
Junior political science and entrepreneurial management major Bonnie Reay also avoided Facebook during finals week. Reay said she would probably have higher grades if she did away with her account completely.
“I didn’t want any distractions while I was studying so I made a rule that I couldn’t access my Facebook.”
Psychology professor Sarah Hill, however, doesn’t think Facebook is necessarily the culprit. Hill said she felt that grades mainly depended on how easily distracted a person is.
“I don’t think Facebook is responsible for worse grades,” Hill said. “In fact, most professors I know are on it. I’m on it.”
Full findings will be published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior later this year.