Transport yourself back to the early 90’s when computers were a fairly new item and the Internet, a new phenomenon. More than 10 years later, social networking sites have invaded our lives, Facebook in particular.
According to Peter Corbett’s study from iStrategyLabs, 45.5 million users of ages 18 through 24, use Facebook as of January 2011 of the more than 480 million users altogether. That’s about 30 percent of all users. College students waste countless hours on Facebook or twitter instead of spending their time wisely on productive activities like studying and as the final month of the semester kicks in, homework and assignments pile on. I cannot count the number of times I found myself browsing through pages on Facebook without looking for anything in particular. Don’t get me wrong. It’s a great tool for networking and obtaining information fast but more often than not, it becomes a sort of addiction.
More than a month ago, I decided to deactivate Facebook and concentrate on the hardest semester, my final one. Since then, I have more time to study, to finish assignments or to do things I never thought of doing on my spare time like cooking. I don’t feel like I am “missing out” on anything because the real news can be found in newspapers or television broadcasts. The average student might not be aware of current news such as what each presidential nominee stands for or other national or even international news. We have become a conformist society that ages by the minute as we sit in front of computer screens and wait for something exciting to happen intead of searching for relevant information through other means.
As college students, we tend give more importance or make time for entertainment such as gossip. The spring fever is here but spring break is over and the homework isn’t going anywhere. Students often use Facebook while studying or even update statuses, check messages and “like” photos while in class. This can harm a student’s academic performance or ability to concentrate.
A study by Netherlands psychologist Paul A. Kirschnera Technologies at the Open University and Aryn C. Karpinskib of Ohio State University, reveals that Facebook users had a grade point average of 3.06, while “non-users” had an average GPA of 3.82. The study included 219 American university students between ages 19 and 54. It makes sense. A few points do make a difference when potential employers look at college transcripts or when applying for internships or organizations. The capability of restraining ourselves from destructive practices can say a lot and can help in the work environment, in forming healthy relationships with others and in improving our interpersonal communication. Once we step out in the real world, we will have to learn to limit the use of Facebook or other media throughout the day.
Multi-tasking isn’t for everyone, especially for students with a short-memory span. Reducing the number of hours spent of Facebook per week can make a difference.
It’s not about being old-fashioned but about being media-savvy in practices. Not only does relying on social networking sites takes quality time from our lives, but if used incorrectly, it can lead to serious reputation-damaging situations if not careful.
Next time you log on to Facebook or other social networking sites consider spending less time on it and during the final weeks, perhaps deactivating Facebook will bring a stress-free ending to semester.