In our productivity-focused society, it’s not uncommon to hear people proudly call themselves multitaskers. But when it comes to academic success, multitasking may actually be more of a hindrance than a help. With computers and smartphones nearly everywhere, potential distractions for college students abound.
Among the most tantalizing distractions are social media platforms, which deploy phone and e-mail notifications to draw users in multiple times a day. These notifications may be good for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but not necessarily for your GPA.
New research suggests that college students who spend more time surfing Facebook, especially while studying or doing homework, may have lower grades. In a survey of 1,649 college undergraduates, a researcher at Iowa State University found that overall time spent using Facebook was associated with lower GPAs for freshmen, and time spent using Facebook while doing schoolwork (multitasking) was associated with lower GPAs for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. For seniors, who spent the least amount of time on Facebook, there didn’t appear to be a relationship between usage and GPAs.
If you’re curious to learn more (and aren’t just looking for a distraction from schoolwork), read the study here.