Here’s a pop quiz for you: are students more or less distracted because of the Internet? Does social media help or hurt students?

According to information gathered from several sources by OnlineEducation.net, Facebook and Twitter are used to great benefit — sometimes. Students welcome online engagement and resources; around 75% of student respondents said they’d like to do some online collaboration for class, in fact.

Also, social media may have a positive impact on students’ sense of themselves in the community. Social media-using students were twice as likely as other students to feel well-liked by their peers and to participate in extracurricular activities. And 20% more of Facebook-using students (as compared to students who didn’t use Facebook) said they felt connected to their school and community.

However, negative effects abound. Students who use Facebook and hit the books simultaneously found their multitasking led to 20% lower grades than those of their more focussed peers.

Not only do grades and finances suffer, but students might actually end up feeling more depressed or lonely. Almost half of students believe they are sadder than their friends on Facebook, and 25% of higher institution students have shown signs of severe depression in their status updates at one time or another.

In a word, the results are inconclusive. But a large number of students on Facebook, only the most dedicated academics would consider giving up social media.