Don’t trade class time for social networking
If religion is the opiate of the masses, then social networking must be its crystal meth. Just like the drug, you have photos chronologically showing yourself going downhill. You also have gaps of time that are missing from
your life. The lapses can prevent you from making the grade in your classes. As students get ready to embark on finals, it’s important to take a break from multi-tasking in order to get work done more efficiently.
A recent study done by psychologist Paul A. Kirschnera of the Center for Learning Sciences and Technologies at the Open University in The Netherlands and Ohio State University’s Aryn C. Karpinskib has shown social networking websites could be lowering students GPAs.
The study was done to test the rumors that younger people have become better multi-taskers as a result of being brought up in a society that is more dependent on a variety of technologies.
Researchers in the study took a look at 219 US university students between the ages of 19 and 54 years old; the Facebook users were shown to have a 20 percent lower GPA than that of non-users.
“Our study and other previous work, suggests that people may think constant task-switching allows them to get more done in less time,” Kirschnera told the Daily Mail. “(But) the reality is it extends the amount of time needed to carry out tasks and leads to more mistakes.”
This points to a pretty common sense notion: If you focus on one thing, you’ll do better than if you’re trying to do multiple things at once. Now the real question is, “Can modern students stop to focus on just school?”
But social networking is not the only thing resulting in multi-tasking; text messaging, music, games and video all come out to play when we’re trying to do work. It could even be the simple fact that we just don’t have enough time to finish all of the work that we need to get done.
There is just no more peace and quiet anymore — to tune out the people around you, you put headphones on and play music. Even that can derail someone’s study habits. And no one wants to look like they’re going to the gun range with ear phones in or dip themselves in a sensory depuration tank just to write a paper.
Distractions are always going to be a constant part of life; there is no way to avoid them. Even if you go off to live in the woods, there will always be those nagging mosquitoes.
What people need to do is learn how to prioritize, and thats where the problem with Facebook comes in. A lot of things that present themselves as an immediate issue that needs to be addressed are things that didn’t exist 10 years ago.
Status updates of someone you went out with and personal fights being made public could all present themselves as priorities over work that needs to be done. It’s not strange to want to place your social life at the top of the list during school. College students — for much longer than the existence of Facebook — have been trying to do this.
Take something like the Daily Cougar, which has been around for more than 75 years. A school newspaper is a strange thing because it’s deadline oriented, but it still doesn’t help non-major students academically or offer the substance of a professional job.
These deadlines present themselves as major priorities because they’re happening so fast that they don’t give the editors time to breathe. As a result of this, things like writing for classes get pushed back until it becomes something that is crashing down on us.
In this is an organization that has been around for a long time and it would be ignorant to think that the issue of putting extra curricular activities ahead of school work is something that just came into existence. This would be as ignorant as thinking that multi-tasking is a new thing.
The greatest advantage that social networking gives students is that it’s the one distraction that can be turned off. So come time to get down to work, take a deep breath and be thankful that some things have a log off button — and take control over everything you can.