The Real Problem With Social Networking is That Academics Just Don’t Get It

I have been chewing over the brief article at The Chronicle about how a study found “No Link Between Social-Networking Sites and Academic Performance.”

Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies and sociology at Northwestern, suggests that the benefits of social-networking sites may cancel out the distractions they pose.

Here is a newsflash people: the benefits of reading can also cancel out the distractions it poses. Do you really think spending hours each day devouring the National Enquirer improves academic performance? Nope.  Spending time on a social network is about as broad a category as reading now – with good and bad examples of both existing out there.

Someday… just maybe academics will figure out it is not the tool itself that matters but how it is used.  Until then we will have to continue performing studies that tell us the obvious.

But I fully recommend that you bookmark the study – it will save you time and energy the next time you have to respond to “I heard that students are failing because of Facebook” for the millionth time.

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