back to article Profs: Facebook, Twitter users are lazy, thick, amoral

Fresh research from America confirms that online social networks are in fact playthings of the devil. Ohio profs say that use of Facebook leads to lower college grades, and others in California have found that Twitter gradually renders its users' moral compasses untrustworthy. First up comes Aryn Karpinski of Ohio State Uni, …

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Cause and effect

Just another study with might mix up a correlation with cause and effect. At first glance, it seems obvious that online socialising activities lead to lower study time lead to lower grades. However, couldn't it be that lazy and stupid students are more attracted to facebook and similar rubbish than the clever ones?

Anyhow, as an employer I quickly look up candidates' online profiles: on facebook? - lesser chance...

EA

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Heart

I concur with this study

From experience in business and socially, I have found a direct correlation between the behavior of those who frequently use Facebook and/or Twitter. I do not count those who (like me) have created accounts simply to see what it was all about, but do not use the services on a daily, even weekly basis. Here are my (plain to see) observations:

1. Lacking in social skills that would be common prior to online communications

2. Exceptionally poor at returning communications of any sort

3. Socially short term. IE, will arrive for an event only to 'move on' later to another 'event' perhaps itself triggered by Facebook, Twitter etc.

4. Unfocused in their work, significantly reducing their productivity

5. Obsessed with their online status and number of friends or followers

6. Trying to impress 'someone'. Thing is, who?

7. Generally unskilled. None of the people I know who are excellent at something (music, coding, rowing, other aspects of life) have time to use such services that are a drain on personal productivity and the physical activities that are good for ones health and mental wellbeing.

The excuse that such services help people keep in touch is untrue. All those I knwo who are true friends go to the effort of exchanging new phone numbers and/or email addresses becuase they value their friendship to such a level they will make that effort.

Either way, while these services do have their pluses, they will not continue to grow once people realise their bodies have evolved to use all 5 senses.

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Stop

It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook...

"It may be that if it wasn't for Facebook, some students would still find other ways to avoid studying"

Err... Beer?

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Causation & correlation

There's a lot of bet-hedging going on in that Karpinski study. If all that can reasonably be concluded is that there's some correlation between using social networking sites and not scoring highly academically - well, duh.

As the linked article says, there could be a whole host of other reasons why those students aren't doing as well, and cutting out social networking sites may make no difference at all to their future performance.

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Stop

association does not prove cause and affect

Remember the old days of the nerds versus the popular?

Being a nerd may have expressed itself in many ways. The same is true with being very social.

But, this article (and perhaps the studies) makes a huge mistake in assuming cause and affect when it is only an association being observed.

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The FB stuff is a little self-evident, but the Twitter stuff... <shivers>

Woah. That's an insightful thought about "info-nuggets". I can see the rationale (I did learn psych at St Andrews University) and I'd say that was a compelling argument suggesting Twitter, Facebook status updates, etc are a really REALLY bad idea for kids, especially in saturation.

Twitter seems to be evil at both ends - those who post incessantly are often utterly convinced their own lives are worthy of global adulation, and those who read are being turned into sociopaths.

It's funny - I thought blogging was cruel this way, with a lot of people starting their blogs and discovering just how few people cared who the hell they were before giving it up, but now it seems Twitter is much MUCH worse.

This, combined with "oh dear" media (NewsWipe on BBC4 - wicked piece) where we are fed a constant stream of appalling human behaviour we can do nothing about and which seems to have no good / evil divide - we are going down in flames, people.

However, the Facebook study sounds like a classic "rain / umbrella usage" idiotically interpreted scenario.

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Meh

So, the net finding is that people who do less socialising get better grades...? Well, that *is* groundbreaking news.

Studies like this are fatally flawed by assuming the connection is "social networks first, then people become slack" rather than "slack people have more time for social networking".

I heard there's also a study about the geographical location of bear poop turning out to be mainly in forested areas...?

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Anonymous Coward

I agree

Facebook and twitter are banes on our society, kids need to get some objectivity.

But you have to admit that the way we are going those stupid enough to use those sights deserve to be doomed forever.

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Ha

In which case I find it entertaining that:

1) There are now very few people at my univeristy who don't use a social site of any sort

and

2) That I know several of my lecturers have accounts.

Though I will admit that Facebook is a high cause of procrastination, I also believe I would have gone insane from overwork should a suitable procrastination mean not be available.

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Unhappy

Private Eye's ...

predictive phrase "'Moron Shall Speak Unto Moron" seems totally designed for Twitter. 30 years before the event.

I guess there's real life, and there's Facebook, Twitter etc etc. If you can't face real life you retreat into the digital space with your many "friends" and pretend that you're really important.

Sad, very, very sad....

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Joke

my survey shows those that did the survey were ...

The fact that they did a survey shows THEY are the thick ones. I can likely make that survey show that people with blue eyes eat more carrots than those with brown. Surveys are bollox and can easily be made to show the results YOU want by wording the questions carefully. I use Facebook to enable my family and extended family who live far away to see their grandson/nephew etc. Nowt thick about that.

My survey shows that those that did this survey were complete dumb fucks.

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I blame the internet

Surely the internet in general makes you less likely to empathise, not just failbook. Thanks to the web I can now only masturbate to amputee porn. I don't need a research paper to tell me Twitter is for the mentally subnormal, though.

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Happy

@Vision Aforethought

"None of the people I know who are excellent at something (music, coding, rowing, other aspects of life) have time to use such services that are a drain on personal productivity and the physical activities that are good for ones health and mental wellbeing."

Oh, get over yourself. Even people who excel at something need time to kick back and indulge in something trivial to wind down every now and then. I find Facebook to be a great "fair weather" social network - have a bit of banter with people you're acquainted with (not necessarily those you'd consider 'real friends'), comment on their photos and postings, enjoy their YouTube recommendations, etc. Then once you've spent an hour or so catching up, you switch it off and return to Real Life, hopefully a bit more relaxed and amused.

"Exceptionally poor at returning communications of any sort"

If I have any Real Life worries or if I need to concentrate on a task, then Facebook just becomes an annoyance and I won't log in (perhaps for days). If anyone thinks that my non-response to their comments or PM's is a snub, then they don't know me well enough for me to be concerned; Any true friends who happen to also be on Facebook can simply phone me or e-mail me if they want me urgently.

Now I know you were talking specifically about people who obsessively use Facebook as opposed to an occassional dabbler like myself, but having a Facebook account and using it semi-regularly does not allow anyone to label me as lazy, stupid or amoral.

I also read and post anonymous abuse on /b/ occassionally, for teh lulz. Should I be worried ?

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Cum Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc

Slackers spend more time on Facebook, therefore Facebook causes people to be slackers? Well, quite. In other news, all mackrel are fish, all fish live under water, therefore if I order kippers it won't rain.

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Boffin

So in a nutshell

Students who spend less time studying compared to those that do, do worse in their grades.

Someone actually spent time doing a "study" on this?

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Coat

Facebook, Twitter users are lazy, thick, amoral?

So also likely to work in sales then? :P

/off to evilly tweak the rule for Fartbook in the firewall to ensure users get a painfully slow connection, that will always timeout before the whole page loads......

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What could be..

I have a Facebook, a Twitter and I like beer far too much. So as someone who had a degree and a high paid career it leads me to wonder what could have been if only I'd never joined a social networking websites. Prehaps I'd be as cool as Vision Aforethought!

From experience in business and socially I find that anyone who has the time to make and write 7 observations about their colleges who use Facebook and Twitter are:

1. Lacking in social skills that would be common prior to online communications

2. Exceptionally poor at returning communications of any sort

3. Socially short term. IE, will arrive for an event only to 'move on' later to another 'event' perhaps itself triggered by Facebook, Twitter etc.

4. Unfocused in their work, significantly reducing their productivity

5. Obsessed with their online status and number of friends or followers

6. Trying to impress 'someone'. Thing is, who?

7. Generally unskilled (A Manager). None of the people I know who are excellent at something (music, coding, rowing, other aspects of life) have time to use such services that are a drain on personal productivity and the physical activities that are good for ones health and mental wellbeing.

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Flame

Thats nothing...

There is one acronym which has grown up via the internet which, to my mind is individually responsible for dropping grades and people generally being less well informed and lazier:

tl;dr.

The single most irritating thing ever posted on the 'net.

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I agree

I have to agree that Fecesbook is a Bad Thing. It attracts people like my sister: short attention span and hundreds of "friends" online, but shallow and narcissistic in real life.

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Coat

Harsh perhaps, but...

Imagine what they have to say about the myspace/bebo users!

Coming soon in the next badly thought out and somewhat pointless study that really just tells us that the people that study less probably have more free time to cock around on the internet.

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Codswallop covered cobblers

What a pile of steaming dingo intestines this "research" is.

It makes the assumption that all people have the same needs when using something like Facebook or Twitter.

I joined Facebook because old friends contacted me. I probably login twice a month if that.

Facebook is a mess of unsophisticated marketing "tricks", but there is *some* merit in seeing what your mates are up to and sharing photo's etc.

I joined Twitter because some of it is damn funny. If you want to read stuff twittered by morons, that's your perogative, but to make the assumption that this is what everyone does is utterly stupid. Twitter is fantastic for sharing jokes, or interesting web links - frivolous fun.

Students get bad grades because they are lazy or thick, not because they use facebook or twitter.

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where...

... is the study about El Reg usage effects?

usage of carpets and gaffer not included, that is

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hey now.

Im worthless useless and lazy, and i dont use facebook or twitter.

maybe ive read it wrong. roflmao

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So either -

Using Facebook makes you lazy, distracted and dumb

OR

You''re lazy, distracted and dumb so you use facebook.

Either way, you're lazy, easily distracted and dumb.

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Shock

The internets make you stupidslol!

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Law
Paris Hilton

OR

All the cool kids are using fb and twitter, and the rest of us are nerds and bookworms.... at least in the past the cool kids did sports... sigh...

Paris - because I wonder what delights she would have posted on fb and twitter when in her teens...

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Joke

Damn . . .

I wish I could share this on my Facebook.

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@Geraint

"Though I will admit that Facebook is a high cause of procrastination, I also believe I would have gone insane from overwork should a suitable procrastination mean not be available."

What? You mean if it wasn't for Facebook you might actually have to study? Surely not. Perhaps, for forms of procrastination, you could have gone OUT and SPOKEN to people in PERSON instead of just reading about them and trying to imagine what it might be like to actually meet one.

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Stop

ho hum

So yet another well funded and "thorough" "study" to try and tell world + dog that correlation equals causality. The only reason they keep doing this is that some thick idiots believe that nonsense and will parrot it on the very sites they are trying to slam. As well as the fact that they themselves are stupid enough to believe it which is shocking given that someone doing a phd thesis is supposed be slightly smarter than that.

I don't have an account on either site mentioned, nor on myspace, live journal, etc etc, but even I can see this "study" is nonsense.

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Meh

"Brain imaging showed that the volunteers needed six to eight seconds to fully respond to stories of virtue or social pain. However, once awakened, the responses lasted far longer than the volunteers’ reactions to stories focused on physical pain. "

So scrap the idea that too much twitter use would leave you heartless, all your communications with the rest of the human race would have to be through twitter size chunks. Simply talking to anyone for more than 8 seconds can supposedly trigger these emotions.

On the other hand, their study only had 13 subjects. Drawing any conclusions about the entire human race from 13 people is likely to result in errors. What kind of conclusions would these guys jump to if they were given 13 guys with aspergers as subjects?

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Joke

Facebook turned me into a newt

...but I got better.

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@IGnatius

Whats her name ?

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Facebook is ok, but doesn't help itself..

Facebook doesn't make people thick and shallow, but the interface doesn't help foster deep conversations, certainly.

Personally I'd say that provided you block 99% of applications, it's not a bad tool for keeping up with how someone is doing. It can certainly encourage friendships - however, only to a point.

If everyone is on facebook, using it to organise events is *much* easier than using the phone or e-mail.

Facebook ultimately isn't really designed to help people interact though - it's designed to get users to click on as many apps as possible. Searching for what someone posted more than a week ago seems impossible if they're reasonably active.

Then again, it is free - and you get somewhat more than you pay for.

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Anonymous Coward

Bah!

Anyone can get an 'A', the real skill is in how close you can get to a 'C'.

Anything more is a waste of drinking time.

Besides, doing well socially will always get you further. It's not what you know but who you know...

Where's the 'we need a new icon' icon?

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Joke

8 seconds

"So scrap the idea that too much twitter use would leave you heartless, all your communications with the rest of the human race would have to be through twitter size chunks. Simply talking to anyone for more than 8 seconds can supposedly trigger these emotions."

Talking to someone for more than 8 seconds leaves you numb, cold inside, and devoid of the higher emotions? Well, I don't think it's true of everyone, but I can think of several people that fit this bill....

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Stop

subjects?

Perhaps facebook students are doing harder subjects. Its easier to get an A in media studies than in law..

Perhaps this shows that people on face book take harder subjects at uni, not that they are stupid. When i was finishing uni last year the amount of people who used computers regularly, and therefore networking sites was much higher in law and commerce subjects than in arts, which are far easier.

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