Tag Archives: effects of social media

Could Deleting Facebook Lead to Better Grades?

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.

Researchers now studying link between social media and poor body image

Could Facebook be serving up a side of low self-esteem along with the latest news and gossip? A recent study suggests that the more time young women spend on Facebook, the more likely they are to suffer from poor body image.

Researchers at the University of Strathclyde, Ohio University, and University of Iowa surveyed 881 female college students about their Facebook use, eating habits, and body image. On average, women in the study spent almost an hour and a half per day browsing their news feeds and looking at photos. Women who spent more time on the site, especially those wanting to lose weight, were more likely to compare their bodies to those of peers, as well as feel bad about their bodies.

While these findings don’t prove that Facebook and other social media sites cause poor body image, they’re still a cause for concern—body dissatisfaction is a strong risk factor for dieting and eating disorders.

Up to this point, most criticism has targeted mass media and the fashion industry’s use of super-thin models and photo retouching techniques. This study is among the first to examine the effects of social media on body image.

Social media users tend to present the best “version” of themselves, even going so far as to retouch photos.  These idealized images may affect women even more than mass media images since they’re supposedly more realistic coming from friends and peers.

Read more here and be sure to let us know what you think in the comments.