The Distractions of Facebook: The Student Perspective

In a recent article titled The Latest Stay-in-School Tool for College Students: Facebook, the author discusses the relationship between Facebook and retention rate of collge students. The debate is raised about whether Facebook use increases a freshman’s social life (such as allowing them to find friends easier) or if it is simply a distraction.

As a member of the Facebook generation, I have gone through my entire college career with the site as one of my tabs on my browser. Although I did not return to my initial college my freshman year, like the study in this article addresses, Facebook was a huge tool for me in the social aspect. For example, I found my freshman roommate on Facebook prior to moving in and was able to get to know her, as well as plan ahead for our dorm. I also was able to connect with classmates and ask them quick questions. I was even able to friend people that I randomly met going out, that without Facebook, I would never see again.

On the other hand, I am definately willing to admit that Facebook can be a distraction. In fact, I have actually caught myself stopping mid-sentence while writing this blog to check the latest on my News Feed. However, I don’t think we can blame Facebook for being the cause of students’ lackluster performance at the college level. Although Facebook was popular during my college years, I was deprived of the Face’ throughout high school and guess what? I still got distracted. As we all remember all too well, before Facebook, Myspace was the online boredom prevention.

In conclusion, I do believe that Facebook can benefit universities in numerous ways. It allows their students to connect with each other in a way that is different than any other type of bond. Facebook opens a whole new world for not only students, but universities as well. With proper use, universities are able to share this bond with their students also. What better way to communicate with students than in an area that they are constantly checking? Is Facebook distracting? Definitely, but those distractions do not outweigh the benefits.

Now, please excuse me. I have new notifications to check.

Paige Plant