Step away from your TwitterBerry, folks: Twitter is making you dumber! The surprising flipside of this news is that Facebook allegedly makes you smarter, at least according to one Australian psychologist:
Staying on top of Facebook is like solving puzzles, since it hones our ability to remember and use information. But more “micro-level” activities like Twitter, watching YouTube videos, and text messaging weaken these same skills by shortening our attention spans. Says Dr. Alloway from the University of Stirling, “On Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but it’s also very succinct. You don’t have to process that information. Your attention span is being reduced and you’re not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections.”
Dr. Alloway? I can’t argue with your comments about Twitter, but I must respectfully disagree that Facebook somehow makes people smarter. I can’t say I see how Facebook is like solving a puzzle. What information do we need to remember and use to stay on top of Facebook? Last I checked, as long as you can remember the name of your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend and can read at a third-grade level, you can master le Facebook. You literally just scroll through things and read them, and there are plenty of reminders if you happen to forget about a recent poke or a fake gift you received. I use Facebook less than an hour a week precisely because it makes me feel dumb. And creepy. Plus, with the amount of class and potential study time that people spend on Mark Zuckerberg’s evil invention, everyone’s probably learning a heck of a lot less, and thus, getting dumber. If you’ve ever brought a laptop to class, you know what I mean: it’s literally impossible to pay attention with Facebook and Gmail and Cake Wrecks at your fingertips. Theory Schmeory, someone made a cake of a C-section!
I know that in theory people can use Facebook to post articles and spark insightful discussions about them, but come on, WHO DOES THAT? (Okay, I know one person, but he’s a professor, so that doesn’t count.) Point is, I’m right, and that psychologist is wrong.
[Posted by Mallory]