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Facebook Not a Drag on Grades, Maybe


Before Facebook pervaded every nook of the world the social networking service seemed to exist solely to purvey that never-ending stream of digital flotsam disgorged by American academe: photo upon photo album of red cup-toting, teeth baring, diligently partying college students.

For years, the networking site worried parents -- nosy or otherwise. Then the bombshell landed in April last year: Researchers at Ohio State concluded that frequent Facebook users in fact do worse at school.


The jury, it seems, is still out.

On Thursday The Chronicle of Higher Education reported another study from Northwestern showing that Facebook and MySpace use had no effect on grades, “despite how often students used them or how many they used.”

Eszther Hargittai, a communications professor at Northwestern pointed out that Facebook may not be used only on frivolous pursuits.

“You can connect with your classmates, get information about homework assignments, get to know people better, and feel more comfortable engaging with them on academic matters,” The Chronicle reported her as saying.

Carry on, boys and girls.

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