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18 November 2016

Three Important Predictors of Students’ Facebook Procrastination

Keywords: media, personality, survey, computer, education, internet, social media, young adults,

Using Facebook to procrastinate—which means irrationally turning to Facebook instead of doing other more important tasks—is very common among students. A study in Computers in Human Behavior investigates what characteristics of a student makes him or her procrastinate with Facebook more often and how this affects the students’ academic and overall well-being.

Take aways

  • Students with 1) low self-control, 2) strong Facebook checking habits, and 3) high enjoyment of Facebook use are more likely to procrastinate with Facebook. 
  • The more students procrastinate with Facebook, the higher their academic stress and Facebook-induced strains.
  • Procrastinating with Facebook can impair the users’ well-being.

Study information

  • The question?

    What are important predictors of procrastination with Facebook and does frequent procrastination with Facebook affect the psychological well-being of students?

  • Who?

    Study 1: 354 student Facebook users (mean age: 22.89 years; 71% females) from several German universities.

    Study 2: 345 student Facebook users (mean age: 21.17 years; 62% females) from several German universities.

  • Where?


  • How?

    In the first study, participants were asked to fill out an online questionnaire, including questions about their self-control, their Facebook checking habits and their enjoyment of Facebook use. These questions were asked in order to investigate whether Facebook is a frequently used ‘tool’ for procrastination among students and whether the frequency of procrastination can be predicted by self-control.

    In order to examine whether procrastination with Facebook is related to academic stress and Facebook-induced strains, participants of the second study were also asked to fill out an online survey, including questions about their level of perceived academic stress and perceived Facebook-induced strains on well-being.

    In both studies, students were asked about their frequency of procrastination with Facebook.

Facts and findings

  • Students who had low self-control, habitually checked their Facebook, and enjoyed Facebook a lot, were more likely to procrastinate with online media, such as Facebook.
  • The more frequently students procrastinated with Facebook, the higher their academic stress and the more they reported strains resulting from their overall Facebook use.
  • An increase in procrastination with Facebook impaired the user’s well-being, indicated by temporary mood, personal relationships, and personal growth.
  • Critical Note: As this study has exclusively focused on students, findings cannot be generalized.