Students: Facebook Might Be Good for Your Social Life, But Bad for Your Pocket

Is Social Media Ruining Students?

Facebook and students: A happy marriage, or a receipe for disaster?

As you'd expect, the answer isn't so simple. A study and rather lovely infographic (see below) produced by ponders this question from several different viewpoints.

As those tied to email all day can testify distractions hurt productivity, and the same is true when studying. Unsurprisingly, flicking between Facebook and studying results in 20% lower grades. Sound obvious? Turns out 79% of students don't believe it.

They're also less likely to be paying their way whilst studying, with Facebook user's working less than 5 hours per week, whilst their social-media-phobic counterparts clocking in an impressive 16 hours per week. Still, that's what student loans are for, right?

Those students that put the social into social media seem to be having a grand old time,

"Social media users feel 20% more 'connected to their institution', and are twice as likely to feel popular."

whilst those who go it alone, aren't having quite as much fun,

"48% of students on [Facebook] think they're sadder than their friends"

That craving for updates that will be familiar to CrBlackberry users, starts early. The infographic reports on a study from the University of Maryland where students were asked to kick their social media fix for 24 hours.

Social media is now a core of their activities, during this students felt disconnected from their main news sources as well as,

"frantically craving, very anxious, extremely antsy, miserable, jittery, and crazy."

In news that'll no doubt keep client lists of counsellors and analsysts full, the study shows the phrase "facebook addiction" is search for 350 times more than "cigarette addiction".

Overall, the study is inconclusive on whether social media is good or bad, there's certainly elements of both. Thinking back to my student days - is wasn't that long ago - I don't remember needing much encouragement to get distracted, so maybe there's little new here.

It'd be interesting to see the positive and negative effects of social media on students when they're not in close proximity or living away from a campus environment. Either way, the analysts watching Facebook's traffic will be buoyed by the news. 

Here's the infographic in full:

Is Social Media Ruining Students?
Picture (c)