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Bad Grades? Blame Facebook.


Facebook has been blamed for a lot -- from firings and arrests to millions of dollars in lost productivity -- but now, according to a new study, Facebook can be blamed for ruining college students' GPAs. Aryn Karpinski of Ohio State University and Adam Duberstein of Ohio Dominican University surveyed 219 undergraduate and graduate students and found that, on average, students who use Facebook receive a full grade point lower than their Facebook-abstinent peers.

"Maybe [Facebook users] are just prone to distraction," Karpinski told Time, "maybe they are just procrastinators." While not a member herself, Karpinksi was inspired to undertake the study a few years back when, working as a teaching assistant, she noticed her students' growing obsession with the site. These days, Facebook is the largest social networking site on the Web, recently exceeding 200 million members.


It's true that time spent on Facebook could be time spent studying, but we agree with Facebook's response -- that it isn't the only distraction in the world. Would this study have turned out differently if, instead of looking at Facebook, it examined people who regularly watched TV or played video games? We doubt it. In fact, British think-tank Demos recently conducted a study whose conclusion stated that social networking sites might actually be good for business and help to increase productivity. [From: Time]

Facebook Crime and Punishment

    Blackmail
    Sending any personal info or incriminating pictures to someone on Facebook is a huge mistake for many reasons. One of the worst possible outcomes is getting blackmailed for money, sex, or, well, anything these sickos dream up. Really, whether they're using a fake profile or not, it's a horrible idea. Read up on the story of an 18-year-old who blackmailed 31 male classmates after he posed as a girl and asked for nude pictures. That's lesson enough.

    Impostors
    Sure, it can be harmless to impersonate a celeb online or create a fake profile for a movie character. But seriously, there's a definite line you shouldn't cross when pretending to be someone else and it can lead to dire consequences for you. Maybe it's not as extreme as the Moroccan man who was jailed for 43 days after creating a fake Facebook profile of a prince, but you never know. Just steer clear of it.

    Self-Incrimination
    Do we really have to explain this? Just look up the shoplifter who posed with her stolen merchandise, the many photos of drunk underage teens, and, most recently, the album featuring a couple who killed and ate an endangered iguana in the Bahamas.

    Suicide
    Social networking sites has been blamed for a lot of things, fairly and unfairly, but in our opinion, the worst offense has been their indirect involvement in suicides. Obviously, there are a lot of factors responsible in each case, but there does seem to be links between social networking and a rash of suicides, and obviously tehre's the case tragic of Megan Meier, who killed herself after a classmate's mom impersonated a teen boy and harassed her over Myspace.

    Murder
    We've reported on numerous incidents of people getting in trouble because of their online behavior. Now, people are becoming victims because of what they're doing on the Web too. In England, a man was convicted of murdering his estranged wife after she changed her relationship status to "single." So, be careful of who can see your profile and what you're doing, no matter how harmless it seems.

    Nigerian Scammers
    Oh, you thought this only happened via poorly worded emails, right? WRONG. Once people got wise to their old ways, these con men are turning to social networking sites for new targets. This time, they're hacking into people's accounts and impersonating them to ask for money, usually with some weird sob story. You can check out a transcript of one of these conversations here.

    Cooperation
    Even if the law isn't on a case, a victim, his friends, or empathetic strangers might be. Since it's easy to get word out for anything online, people are using blogs, forums, and social networking sites to help track down criminals. In one such case, a vehicle thief was tracked down by a bunch of anonymous car enthusiasts after the victim posted his story on a forum. In the end, they identified the guy through his Facebook profile.

    Self-Incrimination
    Do we really have to explain this? Just look up the shoplifter who posed with her stolen merchandise, the many photos of drunk underage teens, and, most recently, the album featuring a couple who killed and ate an endangered iguana in the Bahamas.


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Tags: facebook, internet addiction, InternetAddiction, social networking, SocialNetworking, students, study, top, web

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