Social networking, texting linked to poor academic performance

Washington, April 12 (IANS) Scientists have reported that rampant use of social networking, texting and chatting on mobile phone can result in lower grades and poor performance of students, says a study.

The widespread use of media among college students — from texting, chatting on mobile phones to posting status updates on Facebook — may be affecting their academic performance, say researchers at the Miriam Hospital’s Centres for Behavioural and Preventive Medicine in the US.

The study showed that freshmen women spend nearly half their day – 12 hours – engaged in some form of media use, particularly texting, music, the internet and social networking.

Researchers found media use, in general, was associated with lower grade point averages (GPAs) and other negative academic outcomes. However, there were two exceptions: newspaper reading and listening to music were actually linked to a positive academic performance.

The findings, reported online by the journal Emerging Adulthood, offer some new insight into media use in early adulthood, a time when many young people are living independently for the first time and have significant freedom from parental monitoring, reports Science Daily.

“We found women who spend more time using some forms of media report fewer academic behaviours, such as completing homework and attending class, lower academic confidence and more problems affecting their school work, like lack of sleep and substance use,” said lead author Jennifer L. Walsh from the Miriam Hospital’s Centres for Behavioural and Preventive Medicine.

Walsh added that the study was one of the first to explore mechanisms of media effects on academic outcomes.

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