Your Brain on Facebook

If surfing the web increases workplace productivity, what does spending time on Facebook do to college students? According to a study by Aryn Karpinski and Adam Duberstein, college students who use Facebook have lower GPA’s and devote less time to studying than other students. While the study didn’t prove causality — do low-GPA, anti-study students self-select into Facebook? — could this be early evidence of a Facebook Brain Drain? [%comments]


drNeal

I resisted creating a Facebook account for years and only recently relented due to peer pressure. My reason for holding back was that I had a friend/client who lost a ton of money as a result of an identity theft incident. Whether that originated via his facebook account or elsewhere is hard to determine but he did have only facebook as his on-line social network at the time.

I also resisted because I had some hateful comments attempted to be placed on my blog which I thwarted at the comment approval stage but that stayed with me, in my mind, for a long while. I suppose I should have gone after the guy - I certainly have the skills to do that - but the loss of 'Zen' would have been too much for me.

adora

That's because people who don't use Facebook at all are huge dorks.

Alex

I consider myself a nerd/hermit/outcast and even I have a Facebook account with quite a few friends. I can only imagine someone like Grigori Perelman not having an account, so the control group certainly must be a pretty strange bunch.

Wouldn't a much better approach be to plot GPA against time spent on Facebook? I have a good GPA and a Facebook account, but I spend 1 hour a month there at most.

david

while i know the study dosent prove causality - i will from my own experience as a college kid...watching my freinds...witnessing in my own life how the net is molding our brains and how the average college user of face book has some what of a routine when ever they sit in front of a computer.....and due to the development of facebook with such features as facebook chat...the addition of the ilike button and the new social stream --- and based on fb's buissness model, being a member of fb cuases you to study less due to kits semi addictive nature...due to how so much content is distributed from the web now adays in universities how many schools are starting to have computer based exercises like the physioex labs that i had to do online for my anatomy class - the potential for people to waste more and more time on facebook has increased exponetially.

There are people who are rather smart - but get sucked into fb a lot - thus leading to less studying.

the emergence of mobile has even further increased the potential for a students focus on sites such as FB.

while one may argue that social networking through services such as fb may help people stay in contact - and it does - but with whom - ive realized the people it helps me stay in contact are those girls that ive been chasing after now and then....those freinds whom are only kinda my freinds and those random people whom for what ever reason like to poke you on the site.

the real people in your lives and the ones you end up seeing or at least talking with on the phone.

the scarriest thing is that the medium of the internet is clearly modling our minds, and is especially coming down hard on those with executive functions that were not designed for 24/7 access to time wasting sites.

consider this - growing up - you could take a book off the shelf of a messy room ( possibly your own room) and then proceed to walk into another room in a different part of the home....or at the least go out side and enjoy the content of that book. - thus we all had the joy of having physical barriers or walls in our world seperating us from one piece of information over another and ultimetly keeping us from having to have even greater control over our selves .

yet with the advent of the net...with the library of alexander at everyones finger tips - we can get lost in the knowledge out there - and guess what - the internet does not have walls.

and here is how sites like fb become addicting....

your on a computer - you get used to it - science has already determined that our own self contrl tends to drain as the day goes on - for some it does so faster - but your working on something and having been conditioned over time to click here ..click there...clickity clickity clickity bam youve got tons of tabs open - with this add supported buissness model trying to grab our attention and lure us away from what we go on line to do each adn every time - we end up strengthening the brain bathways that lead to less self control online - as go to a random new site or reading a random new article is much the same as gaining something...the only difference...the ability to gain something is simly a click away. This leads to the possibility that people, even normal people will be drawn in to the web over time.

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MikeM

Yes, because GPA is perfectly correlated with intelligence, isn't it?

Eszter Hargittai

You somewhat misreported the study by suggesting that it was all about "college students". The original sample included quite a few - just over half - graduate students (who don't tend to be referred to as "college students"). Graduate students are less likely to be Facebook users, but are also more likely to have higher grades.

Sudhir Krishnan

Facebook today is a universal phenomenon only because of it's users.If you look at twitter people are attempting their hands on one liners be they humorous,intelligent or nerdy.It is considered to be a different set of users unlike Facebook which is used more for networking.The correlation is seen here in a way that those who have more social skills are in a way poor in GPA..However different social skills are required for different types of tasks or jobs where the person may have to be more outgoing in accordance with the tasks they perform.The measurement done by the study is faulty and they should not try to glorify trivial facts.Facebook users must not be demoralized because i believe they too are intelligent.It also depends on the frequency of the usage.I may have a Facebook account but access my account rarely.So intelligence ha nothing to do with Facebook.Nor do GPA scores in a way relate to them.But certainly getting distracted by online activity on Facebook can lead to Poor results

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