The examination period is always stressful, both for those sitting GCSEs, A levels and the International Baccalaureate and for their parents and siblings who get 'second-hand stress' without even a certificate to show for their efforts.
My friends and I used to revise together, hoping that it would create enough social pressure to keep us working through the evening, but being in the same room is clearly no longer required. My daughter, in the midst of IB exams, and my son, facing GCSEs next week, have email, instant messaging and of course Facebook and other social network sites to keep in touch with their school mates and share revision tips and exam guidance.
Some revising schoolchildren probably found their access to Facebook severely curtailed last month, however, after The Sun revealed that those who checked the site every day dropped a grade in their studies while heavy users were doing as little as an hour of school work a week.
The story was far from exclusive to The Sun, as a quick search of Google News reveals. It made dozens of papers and websites, including The Times, The Calgary Herald, and The Australian, which told its readers that "Facebook fixation harms student grades" and referred worried readers to a Sydney University-based group called "I want to sue Facebook if I fail university".
Social networking scare stories are becoming increasingly popular, perhaps because the internet remains strange and mysterious despite its popularity while the long term impact of the network on our society is only just becoming apparent.