Facebook Bad For The Brain?

Do your kids spend too much time "poking" their friends, posting photos and updating their status on Facebook? A new study suggests that students who use the popular networking site spend less time studying, reports CBS News science and technology correspondent Daniel Sieberg.

With about 200 million users worldwide, "Facebook is definitely embedded into the mainstream of American life now," said John Abel from Wired.com.

It's hard to find anyone not on Facebook, including Sieberg.

But while Facebook got its start on college campuses, some think all that social networking could be bad for the brain.

According to an Ohio State University study released this week, Facebook users had GPAs a full grade lower than non-users. Facebook users also studied on average one to five hours a week, compared to 11 to 15 hours for non-users.

The students CBS News spoke with reported mixed results when asked if there grades suffered as a result of Facebook.

"No, I mean schoolwork comes first," Danny McCabe told Sieberg. But for Margaret Solis, social networking "definitely" affected her grades.

But "Net Generation" guru Don Tapscott is skeptical about the study's findings.

"There isn't a shred of evidence that Facebook is bad for young people. On the contrary, it's a wonderful thing that, with balance, helps them grow, helps their mental abilities develop and it should be encouraged," said Tapscott, the author of "Grown Up Digital."

Of course, maybe another study will look at the effects of other "classic" college distractions - like drinking.
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