Too Much Texting, Facebook Time May Lower College Women's Grades
|Author: Andrew. K|
Date: Friday, April 19th, 2013
|Return to Archive|
Too Much Texting, Facebook Time May Lower College Women's Grades
By Alan Mozes HealthDay Reporter
FRIDAY, April 19 (HealthDay News) -- Media use is a serious distraction for college freshmen, with a new study finding young women devote up to 12 hours daily on pursuits such as texting, posting status updates and surfing the web.
And the more time spent using media, the research suggests, the worse their academic performance.
"The implication of these results would seem to be that reducing college students' media use might improve their academic performance," said study lead author Jennifer Walsh, an assistant professor at the Miriam Hospital Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine in Providence, R.I.
"However, given the central role media play in the lives of young people, this may not be a practical goal for educators and parents," Walsh added. Instead, she said, professors might try to integrate social media into their classrooms to remind students of assignments, suggest resources and connect them with classmates.
For the study, which was published in the April 11 online issue of the journal Emerging Adulthood, researchers surveyed nearly 500 female freshmen at a university in the northeastern United States.
They were asked to recall how they spent their prior week in terms of 11 activities: watching television or movies; listening to music; surfing the Internet; social networking; texting; talking on the phone; reading magazines, newspapers or non-school-related books; and playing video games.
GPA results were collected in January and June. The women were also asked to grade their academic confidence and to note potential problems such as lack of sleep, use of drugs or alcohol, and failure to attend class or complete homework.
When the likelihood of multi-tasking was taken into account (using media while engaging in other non-media-related activities), the authors found the students were devoting nearly 12 hours a day on average to media-based activities.
And those with more media usage were more likely to report behaviors likely to hurt their academic performance. The exceptions: listening to music and reading newspapers were linked to higher grades.
Walsh said it's not possible to draw a direct cause-and-effect relationship between excessive technology use and poor academic performance. More research is needed to do that, she said.
One communications expert challenged the findings, calling them misleading.
"It is absolutely not the case that college women spend nearly half their day using media," said Jeffrey Hall, an associate professor in the department of communication studies at the University of Kansas, in Lawrence. Previous research has found that almost 30 percent of media time involves multi-tasking -- such as listening to music while texting, he said. If that figure were applied to this research, women would have spent closer to nine hours daily on media use. Hall called this "a more reasonable estimate."
Walsh said it's unknown whether the findings apply to male freshmen, given that this research focused solely on women.
"However, young women and men tend to spend approximately the same amount of time using media, and thus we might expect media to interfere with men's academic success in similar ways," she said.
Hall agreed. "There is no reason to believe that these results wouldn't apply to males, but there is also not research in this particular article to say that they would," he said. "We just don't know."
The research team's theories as to how cell phone use and social networking might be linked to worse academic performance do have merit, Hall added.
"Consider the fact that making priorities is very hard for students," he said. "And social networking is extremely compelling. Students feel that Facebook friends' comments on your status update can't wait, but class preparation can."
The other explanation, Hall said, "is that students who don't have the personalities that naturally lead them to be prepared for class are most vulnerable to the temptations of [social networking]. I think both are quite likely."
There is stronger evidence that cell phone use is directly and negatively associated with spring GPA than is social networking, Hall said.
"In some of my own research, students who talk on their cell phones more to close friends report feeling entrapped by the always-on nature of their mobile device," Hall said.
"They get the good part -- feeling close to and well connected to friends, a priority for young women especially," he said. "But [they get] the bad part too -- feeling trapped and guilty and unable to switch off."
- All Categories
- March 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS October 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2012 E-Newsletter
- April 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS November 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2012 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2013 E-Newsletter
- JUNE 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS May/June 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2013 E-Newsletter
- Archived CHHS News
- CHHS October 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2013 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2014 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2015 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2015 E-Newsletter
- December 2015 ICYMI
- January 2016 ICYMI
- MAY 2016 ICYMI
- February 2016 ICYMI
- CHHS July 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS December 2016 E-Newsletter
- CHHS January 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS February 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS March 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS April 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS October 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS November 2017 E-Newsletter
- CHHS September 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS August 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS July 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS June 2011 E-Newsletter
- CHHS May 2011 E-Newsletter
- All Categories
- Academic Outreach
- Continuing & Professional Development
- Online Learning
- Summer Sessions
- Winter Term
- Career & Workforce Development
- Lifelong Learning
- Society for Lifelong Learning
- WKU On Demand
- Study Away
- Faculty-Led Study Abroad
- Center for Innovative Teaching & Learning
- Cohort Programs
- Dual Credit
- Training Resources & Event Planning Services
History will be made on Nov. 29 when WKU will get its first chapter of SALUTE, a national honor society for student veterans. Seven charter members will be inducted into SALUTE at 5 p.m. in the Veterans Resource Center, 410 Tate Page Hall.
Three alumni from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology who work for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) have been assigned to Puerto Rico to assist in post-hurricane recovery efforts.
The Department of Student Financial Assistance will be closed from Wednesday, Nov. 22nd through Friday, Nov. 25th. The office will reopen on Monday, Nov. 27th.
Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,