Byline: Laura Clarke
EXPERTS have confirmed what parents and teachers already feared - youngsters who use Facebook do worse in exams.
A study has revealed that most pupils who regularly surf the social networking site under-perform in tests - some by as much as a grade.
The research found that Facebook rituals, including building an empire of friends, adding applications, joining groups and 'poking' other users, can swallow up hours of study time.
Some users were found to be spending as little as an hour a week on academic work.
Aryn Karpinski, a researcher in the education department at Ohio State University, said: 'Our study shows people who spend more time on Facebook spend less time studying. Every generation has its distractions, but I think Facebook is a unique phenomenon.' Although the study focused on Facebook, its findings are also thought to hold true for other social networking sites.
It involved only university students, but usage among younger children is high and growing.
For the study, the researchers quizzed 219 undergraduates and postgraduates about their study habits and time spent on Facebook.
They found that 65 per cent of Facebook users accessed their account daily, often checking it several times to see if they had received new messages.
Some spent just a couple of minutes during each log-in but others were surfing for more than an hour.
The study said that 68 per cent of students who used Facebook had a 'significantly' lower grade point average - the marking system used in U. …