Your tween has been glued to her laptop all evening. She has a big math test coming up, that she’s supposed to be studying for. Is she really studying, or is she surfing Facebook?
New research suggests that the social networking site is so distracting for teens that those who use it have worse grades than their peers. Teenage Facebook users also have higher levels of anxiety and depression than those who skip the social network entirely.
It’s not like any of us thought Facebook was helping our kids do their best at school. It’s famous for being a massive time suck. That goes just as much for kids blowing off homework as it does for parents checking their friends’ status updates instead of working.
Still, hard research showing the decline in attention span and academic performance is disheartening. Here’s what Time had to say about it:
Research has found that students in middle school, high school and college who checked Facebook at least once during a 15-minute study period got lower grades. Other studies have discovered that teens who use Facebook tend to have more narcissistic tendencies, while young adults who are active on the site display other psychological disorders. And daily use of media and technology — what teen doesn’t use tech each day? — makes kids more prone to anxiety and depression.
The good news is that kids who use social media may be more empathetic than others. They’re better at leaving kind, supportive comments online and feel more connected to their friends, both online and off.
Do your kids use Facebook? Do you think online distractions hurt their grades?