An article on Mashable titled, “Facebook Makes You Smarter, While Twitter Makes You Dumber” caught my eye a couple of years back. Dr. Tracey Alloway of Stirling University was quoted as saying, “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.” Alloway studied youth and their use of Facebook and found that the social network platform actually increased their working memory and improved IQ scores. The study fascinated me. So, I hopped on a plane and went to visit her. Here is a video clip from the interview with Alloway talking about the benefits of engaging in online social networks.
The original news story on Dr. Alloway’s study from the UK Telgraph also mentions that excessive texting is associated with lower IQ scores.