Facebook: Not Making the Grade? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

September 27, 2010
By
It's 9:30 p.m.: you have a lab report to do, five chapters to read, and French homework left. Oh, and an English paper due tomorrow. But instead, you'd like to see the updated status of “that kid you never really knew but went to preschool with.” Most of us have been there, and by there, I mean Facebook.com.

According to Facebook's advertising platform, IStrategylabs, as of July 2010 there were over 10 million users under 17. And reportedly, the number of users in high school alone totals almost 8 million. Insidefacebook.com reports that Facebook users have increased by 150 percent since September of last year. What does this all mean? Young adults are spending more and more time on Facebook, and this has a negative impact on their academic success.

When students go on Facebook while “finishing their homework,” they are fooling themselves into believing they are studying, though they are really wasting time networking. Let's face it, when teenagers are given the choice of studying or cyber-socializing, most are going to choose option two. Katie, a student at my school, agrees. “While Facebook has some useful qualities, I think it prevents students from performing their best,” she says. But, it's just a website, right? How much impact can it possibly have on students' grades?

Researchers at Ohio State University wondered the same thing, so they asked 219 students about their study habits, how often they used their computers, and how regularly they checked Facebook. The study found that students used their computers about 3.7 hours a day. But more importantly, Facebook frequenters had a GPA of 3.0 to 3.5, and nonusers had 3.5 to 4.0 – a difference of a whole letter grade.

The results aren't shocking, considering how easily high schoolers can amuse themselves on Facebook for long periods of time. Once on the site, users can comment on statuses, write on friends' walls, browse through photos, make notes, take quizzes, post bumper stickers, send flair, “poke” friends, instant message, support causes, send birthday gifts, play virtual card games, raise a digital farm – the list goes on. For some, five minutes can easily turn into five hours.

One friend says, “If I didn't have Facebook, I'd probably be spending more time studying and focusing on my homework, rather than paying attention to what's happening on Facebook.” Another agrees; she says she finds it much easier to study and concentrate with Facebook off.

But other students would tell you that Facebook is more than a temptation to procrastinate. Some have even found educational benefits from the site. “I spend a lot of time on Facebook, but it helps me,” claims one. “If I forget what the homework is, or if I forget to study for a test, [I ask my classmates on Facebook].”

So perhaps the not-so-great grades aren't the fault of Facebook, but the Facebook-er himself? Facebook users must learn to limit themselves; students who need to finish a six-page history essay can't expect to get much done while commenting on pictures from yesterday's party. Try to study for one hour, and then go on Facebook for 10 minutes. Or study for two hours, and then take a break for 20 minutes. Even better, visit Facebook after your homework and studying is completed. Then you can play around on FarmVille until the cows come home.

So do you think you might be spending too much time on Facebook? Are your grades suffering because of it? Write on my wall and let me know.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Join the Discussion

This article has 13 comments. Post your own now!

jake kistenmacher said...
Oct. 31, 2010 at 6:01 pm
I have an Oct TeenInk essay do Nov. 1st and i have to say that facebook isent really the cause cause i think that apps are stupid i dont even like them i mean if ure gonna play a game play a real one not some little stupid app. But thats not the point im gonna be 15 november 13th and I think most of these failing grades is to do with the kids not caring or the teachers giveing them to much work. Most kids my age are so stressed out at my school its not even funny. I have Facebook,Myspace,Gaia, a... (more »)
 
B.Ames replied...
Oct. 31, 2010 at 11:35 pm
i agree our school is giving away too much home work like book reports and stuff like that.... i am not even in c.p. english and i have a b- in it
 
'Asian' said...
Oct. 25, 2010 at 5:47 pm
I only listen to music as I do my homework, like I have Oct. Teenink do next Monday? Nov. 1st but I'm not going to check lol. I do get on Facebook like once I'm home and if no messages then I get off (same with Myspace). I have plenty of apps I could be doing (Ninja Saga, Ninja Wars, Mafia...blah blah blah). I read this and though nice essay, yet no impact for me cause I only play those stuff after I'm done and I usually get F's and D's back in like 6-10th grade, but I have A-C's and I'm a Senio... (more »)
 
audreyccccc replied...
Dec. 16, 2010 at 8:02 pm
thanks for your comment. i think you're missing the point here though: i wasn't trying to prove that if you are on facebook, your grades will automatically suffer. this essay merely expresses facts and data proved by studies vs actual students' outlook on facebook, and ultimately its up to the user to determine their grades, not the social networking site. :)
 
tanahbanana replied...
Jan. 28, 2011 at 12:35 am

Audrey,

I am using your article for an assignment in my English class and need your last name to properly cite the article.

Thanks,

Tanah

 
cindy said...
Oct. 23, 2010 at 10:31 pm
i really like this article. i do have a facebook and it is really distracting sometimes but i have learned to manage it. sometimes it is hard but you can do it. 
 
Meli14 said...
Oct. 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm
Really good, haha I read your comment below. I think its really funny how you wwrote this article, but you are a facebooker too. I bet I'd be the same way too. Great job(:
 
audreycccccc replied...
Oct. 24, 2010 at 7:33 pm
hahaha well theres no harm in having one, its just the constant checking and "creeping", if you will, that sometimes can affect people's grades. a little (*safe*) web fun never hurt anyone (:
 
...SallySunshine. said...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm
so, i read this in my october teen ink during class! great job btw. i dont remember myspace having so much statistics and users. definitely choosing this one to write my summary !
 
audreyccccccc replied...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 9:31 pm
hahaha aww! thanks, im flattered. i remember last year we read teen ink all the time in class! its definately a great way to encourage writing!
 
freedombird said...
Oct. 10, 2010 at 9:10 am
You have a great point. In fact, it makes me want to delete my fb... lol not really, im too absorbed i must admit but you had an impact.
 
audreyccccc replied...
Oct. 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm
hahaha oh definately. i'm much too obsessed with my facebook to delete it. my mom always tells me about how i should take my own advice from this article and get more studying done. oh well. i HAVE learned to limit myself, though, which is better than nothing! glad you read my article :)
 
Dude said...
Sept. 28, 2010 at 9:36 am
Yes, it is a tool for procrastinating. I like to see other people's posts.
 
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback