Grades don’t drop for college Facebook fiends

According to new research out of Northwestern University, students who use social networking sites don’t seem to suffer academically, Ars Technica reports. In a recent paper titled “Predictors and consequences of differentiated practices on social network sites,” researchers found that heavy use of sites like Facebook and MySpace doesn’t affect college students’ grade point averages. In fact, it’s the usual suspects such as gender, ethnic background, and parental education that appear to have more of a determining factor in GPA than any kind of Facebook addiction. According to the researchers’ data, female students tend to have higher grades than male ones, and white students have higher grades than non-Hispanic African-American students. Students whose parents have college degrees have higher GPAs than those whose parents only have a high school diploma or lower. The researchers then added in data about overall internet use and social networking use, and found that there were no significant differences. “The most prevalent findings… are the persisting differences between respondents with different demographic backgrounds,” reads the paper. Indeed, internet and social network use didn’t affect the difference in GPAs between male and female or white and African American students. However, social network use did eliminate the difference in GPAs between students whose parents had differing levels of higher education. In fact, when controlling for certain demographics, the researchers found a positive relationship between internet use and GPA…

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