Sure, social media like Facebook and Twitter are distractions for young people, but college and high school students also use them to make important education and career connections, according to an Associated Press-Viacom poll.
Four out of 5 high school and college students say websites are an excellent or good way to interact with fellow students, and a bit fewer _ about 7 in 10 _ say they're equally good for getting information on class assignments or school events, or to form study groups and collaborate with peers. Just over half say the Internet is useful to look up ratings on teachers.
Among students who are employed, 62 percent say social networking is helpful in interactions with co-workers.
Even more, about 9 in 10, say they see social networking as a tool to keep in touch with friends and family. And 74 percent say it's a good way to distract themselves.
When it comes to the impact of various media on their education, students rank the Internet on top, with 53 percent saying it has a "big effect." Printed books followed closely at 51 percent. Television lagged at 24 percent, with newspapers, radio, movies and magazines ranked further down.
Students said laptop computers were the top item they use in the classroom for note-taking, followed by smart phones, cameras, audio recorders, tablet computers and camcorders.