In 2014 a professor at the University of Melbourne published a study in which the computer sessions of 1249 students were analysed over a total of 3372 sessions.
Facebook was present in 44% of all sessions and accounted for the second most common task, totalling 9.2% of all task instances. Only being beaten by university work itself.
What’s interesting is that about 99% of the sessions involved instances of media multitasking.
For the purpose of the experiment they defined focussed behaviour as instances of 20 or more minutes with two or less different activities.
They discovered that students tended to multitask regardless of whether or not they used Facebook.
What was stunning is that when they compare the focussed behaviour between Facebook users and non-Facebook. Around a third of the non-Facebook users spent most of their time in focussed behaviour, compared to only one in nine Facebook users.
Further, Facebook was responsible for initiating multitasking behaviour at the cost of student’s focus.
While these results shouldn’t surprise anyone, they are a reminder that if Facebook is your vice of choice, maybe there are times where you want to restrict your access.
If you’re studying, maybe consider installing a website blocker to stop Facebook initiating distraction.