Dec 062011
 
Authors: Sarah Fenton

On Friday, junior communications major Taylor Hayes plans on making a bold statement in front of 22 peers in her Composition 300 class.

Stemming from a paper she wrote earlier in the semester, Hayes will move her assignment one step further by taking her own advice and deleting her Facebook account during a presentation.

“My grades have suffered because I spend more hours on Facebook than I do opening a book and reading material for the next day,” Hayes said.

As the main point of her paper, Hayes used personal experience, research and data to persuade students to delete their accounts in the name of education. And while she was unsure of what the reaction would be, her bold idea led to an entire class project.

In preparation for finals week, Hayes and approximately 10 other students from her class will be stationed at the Flea Market in the Lory Student Center today to encourage students to participate in what they have named, “Don’t Occupy Facebook.”

The goal of the project is to encourage students to give up Facebook for a full 24 hours.

According to Associate Professor Jamie Switzer, students typically report that studying while multitasking on social networking sites like Facebook don’t have an effect on their studies. However, recent studies have reported the opposite.

“The brain can’t fully do more than one thing at a time,” Switzer said. “When students are constantly checking Facebook while in the act of studying, they really aren’t performing any of the tasks well, because the brain isn’t attending to them wholly.”

Although Hayes could have easily put together a poster or a PowerPoint presentation for her visual aid on Friday, she said she felt the need to act on the message of her paper. According to her, not to do so would be “hypocritical.”

“Facebook isn’t evil; it’s not Facebook that makes our grades lower. It’s our decision to go to Facebook and to use it,” she said. “If you eliminate the opportunity, then you’ll slowly train yourself.”

For students who are unwilling to give up social networking all together, Switzer offered advice that may take self-control, but can yield results.

“As far as study habits are concerned, the best thing for a student to do when studying for anything is to shut down everything,” Switzer said.

“Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, texting, TV, whatever is a potential distraction — and concentrate solely on whatever it is they are studying. Facebook isn’t the only culprit that impedes studying.”

Collegian writer Sarah Fenton can be reached at news@collegian.com

On Friday, junior communications major Taylor Hayes plans on making a bold statement in front of 22 peers in her Composition 300 class.

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