The investigators explored whether young people’s social media usage and engagement correlated with their attainment in school. The researchers identified 59 studies (which included almost 30,000 people) undertaking meta-analyses on this topic.
The four results of the meta-analyses:
• The first result: Pupils who use social media intensively to communicate about school-related topics tend to have slightly better grades. This finding was anticipated by the scientists in the study
• The second result: Pupils who use Instagram and the likes a lot while studying or doing their homework, tend to perform slightly worse than other students. This form of multi-tasking thus seems to be rather distracting.
• The third result: Students who use social networking sites very frequently, regularly post messages and photos and spend a lot of time there have slightly lower grades. This negative effect is, however, very small.
• The fourth result: Pupils who are particularly active on social media do not spend less time studying. So there is no scientifically verified proof of social media stealing valuable time for schoolwork from pupils.
According to the researchers using social media does not seem to have a significant adverse impact on school grades.
Story from Science Daily
The popularity of social networking sites (SNSs) among adolescents and young adults has raised concerns that the intensity of using these platforms might be associated with lower academic achievement.
The empirical findings on this issue, however, are anything but conclusive. Therefore, we present four random-effects meta-analyses including 59 independent samples (total N = 29,337) on the association between patterns of SNS use and grades.
The meta-analyses identified small negative effects for general SNS use and for SNS use related to multitasking.
General SNS use was unrelated to the time spent studying for school and no support for the time displacement hypothesis could be found in a meta-analytical mediation analysis. SNS use for academic purposes exhibited a small positive association.
Hypotheses with regard to cross-cultural differences were not supported.
Full abstract from Springer
Full reference: Marker, C. et al | Active on Facebook and Failing at School? Meta-Analytic Findings on the Relationship Between Online Social Networking Activities and Academic Achievement | Educational Psychology Review | 2017 | DOI: 10.1007/s10648-017-9430-6
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