Researchers with the Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine say social media has a negative impact on academic performance of freshmen students, the Science Daily reported.
Researchers show a link between social media and academic performance among the freshmen in a study, which is the first of its kind. The study looked at students engaged in any form of media use including texting, music, the Internet and social networking. The study shows an average freshmen woman spends 12 hours every day engaged in any form of media use.
The impact of such indulgence results in poor academic performance. Researchers, however, excluded listening to music and reading newspapers as it boosts academic performance unlike other forms of media.
"Most research on media use and academics has focused on adolescents, rather than new college students, or has only examined a few forms of media. So we were curious about the impact of a wider range of media, including activities like social networking and texting that have only become popular in recent years," said lead author Jennifer L. Walsh, PhD, of The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine. "We also wanted to know how media use related to later school performance, since there aren't many longitudinal studies looking at media use and academics."
For the study, Walsh and her colleagues interviewed 483 freshmen women during from a northeast university. Researchers noted 11 different forms of media use that had an impact on academics, which included television, movies, music, surfing the Internet, social networking, talking on a cell phone, texting, magazines, newspapers, non-school-related books and video games. Students were asked to report an average time spent on any forms of media throughout the previous week. Students were also asked to report their grades in the academics for the fall and spring semesters and their intellectual confidence, behavior and troubles, the report said.
As a result, researchers listed that cell phones, social networking, television and magazines had severe impact on students' academic results for their fall semesters. Walsh further noted that students who spent more time engaging in these forms of media, had "fewer academic behaviors, such as completing homework and attending class, lower academic confidence and more problems affecting their school work, like lack of sleep and substance use."
Researchers noted that the major use of social media among the students was found to be more on campus than off. Walsh suggested that professors could use social media as a means of communicating with their students in reminding of their assignments and referring them to helpful resources that could fetch them higher grades in academics.
Also limiting media use within the college campus, especially in classrooms could go a long way, researchers said.
The findings were reported online by the journal Emerging Adulthood.