As it turns out, using Facebook is probably not going to make you better at reading real books. In fact, Facebook's downsizing may boost student ratings, according to some recent research by the University of Technology in Sydney.
The researchers, led by Dr James Wakefield, analyzed the assessments of over 500 freshman students from an Australian accounting introductory class and found that the more time they spent on Facebook, the worse their grades.
For example, students who reported using Facebook three hours a day or more had tests about 10% lower than those who rarely used Facebook.
This three-hour mark is significant because it is close to the average amount of time Facebook has been discovered: two hours. However, some students reported using Facebook for up to eight hours.
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While accounting for age, gender, and whether the student was a major accountant, the findings also revealed a divide between Facebook's effects on high achievers and low achievers. Wakefield looked at students' SEMs or average weighted grades to determine which students were "high achievers". High school students showed no difference in grades, regardless of time spent on Facebook, while students with lower grades appear to be most affected by their use of Facebook.
"Students with lower achievements can already struggle with self-regulation and focus, so it seems like time spent on Facebook provides further deterrence," Wakefield said in a statement.
Wakefield, an accounting education specialist, suggested that students with average grades could benefit from turning off notifications on their phones and part time on Facebook.
According to the Pew Research Center, 90% of Americans aged 18-29 use social media, and 74% of Facebook users check the site daily. As of 2018, 80% of Americans ages 18-24 use Facebook.