In the Peep book I argue that we are using things like social media and twitter and YouTube as entertainment, first and foremost. It’s a more immersive, interactive form of entertainment, but it’s still entertainment. As such I reject the argument that we’re becoming more social through social media. I also reject the supposition that our latest techno-fueled obsessive past-time is making us smarter or more knowledgeable about the word around us.
Slowly, empirical evidence is emerging to support my argument: Facebook is more like TV than it is like socializing or reading or learning.
Most notably, a recently released study out of Ohio State University that finds that, surprise surprise, college students who use Facebook have lower grades than kids who don’t. Here’s a decent news report on the study that tells you everything you need to know. Basic summary: 65% of Facebook users accessed their account daily, usually checking it several times. Meanwhile, those students who used Facebook had a “significantly” lower grade point average than those who did not use the site.
Why is that? Because this stuff is part of our shift from Pop to Peep culture. It’s still entertainment and distraction, not some newly evolved way to learn, connect and meaningfully interact. People, for better and for worse, social media is the new TV.
Daisy Jones, a college student in the UK, deactivated her account after realizing FaceBook was affecting her grades. According to the Ohio study, 79% of Facebook-using students believed the time they spent on the site had no impact on their work. Pic from the Times Online.