Problematic Facebook Use Lowers Student Academic Performance

Low GPA Linked to Problematic Facebook Use?

Do you have an impulsive habit of checking Facebook while driving, in a work meeting, or even in a class? Beware, it could be the reason for your low GPA in class.

According to a study led by two IT professors, problematic use of Facebook negatively affected students’ academic performance, with the higher the problematic use, the lower the GPA.

Ofir Turel, a professor of information systems and decision sciences at California State University, and a co-author of the study, said, “The clear and strong effect of problematic social media use on an academic performance was astounding.”

Turel added, “A slight increase in problematic social media use translates into significant grade loss, and this declined performance is persistent – it remained one year after our initial study.”

The researchers defined a problematic behavior as “a typically impulsive, often short-lived behavior that is considered inappropriate, prohibited, or even dangerous in a given environment and context, or for a given state and goal of the individual.”

Hamed Qahri-Saremi, an assistant professor of information systems at DePaul University’s College of Computing and Digital Mzz edia, also co-authored the study entitled,”Problematic Use of Social Networking Sites: Antecedents and Consequence from a Dual System Theory Perspective.”

The Facebook logo.
The Facebook logo.

The Study

The researchers collected relevant data from the responses of 341 undergraduate college students from a large North American university who use Facebook.

By using a validated problematic use measurement questionnaire, the researchers were able to collect responses from the students.

The researchers collected and analyzed problematic Facebook use data during one semester and then followed up with each student the next year to track their academic performance – in this case using grade point average – for both semesters and cumulatively.

Here is one of the interesting results!

Aside from the fact that students garnered lower GPA which is attributed to problematic Facebook use, the researchers found out that the students also had a strong cognitive-emotional preoccupation and a weak cognitive-behavioral control, creating an imbalance in the brain. In fact, more than 7 percent of students’ differences in their GPAs was attributed to their degree of problematic use of social media.

Other Findings:

• 76 percent of respondents reported using Facebook in class.
• 40 percent reported using Facebook while driving.
• 63 percent reported using Facebook while talking face-to-face with others.
• 65 percent reported using Facebook at work instead of working.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.