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The scapegoat that is social networking

The Daily Mississippian Editorial Board

According to a study conducted by three Covenant College undergraduate students, the average collegeage Facebook user suffers from a lower GPA than those students who choose not to use the popular social network.

To some people this statistic might not appear to be all that surprising as other studies performed throughout the years researching the effects of Facebook
and other networking sites such as MySpace concluded the same thing.

It also isn’t that surprising to us, and we would know since some of us are procrastinators aided along by the endless quizzes, games and picture stalking
made readily available to us by Facebook.

Heck, The Daily Mississippian even has its own Facebook page. (seriously ... send us a friend request.) In the face of all of these studies it is easy to believe
that Facebook is simply a bad decision all around.

Besides its obvious potential for distraction, employers are beginning to use online resources such as Google and Facebook to do background research on job applicants and all of those pictures of that spring break trip to Cancun might just keep you from getting the job.

Ahh, but who cares? With your GPA plummeting with every logon, you probably didn’t have a shot at that position, anyway.

It certainly is easy to log on and be absorbed in the status updates of friends or getting to the next level in Farmtown/Ville/Land, but studies such as the one
that inspired this editorial board seem to forget a few things.

Facebook is just one option of many for good old fashioned time wasting and testing a handful of college students to develop a reasonable study leaves
reason for doubt.

We feel fairly confident that if you looked hard enough you could find students with a 4.0 who spend a generous amount of time on Facebook.

Plus, some people choose to go to college a considerable distance from home and Facebook is often the only reliable (and cheap) source of contact old friends.

Sometimes you might even log in to discover a friend request from your third grade best friend who you haven’t seen or heard from in years.

Parents are even logging on to Facebook. Some do so to connect with their children in another way while others reach out to high school friends or old
co-workers they haven’t seen in a while.

And really, who can blame them? There is no crime in wanting to be connected to friends and family.

Lower GPAs might be a problem, as was illustrated by the study, but Facebook isn’t entirely to blame. Students who want to procrastinate and not study
are going to do so no matter what.

Facebook is merely an excuse to enable them further and demonstrate that not all college students understand, or desire, to prioritize their time to the best of its use.
Facebook shouldn’t be made into the bad guy. It’s just a Web site.