According to leading British psychologist Dr Tracy Alloway of Sterling University, has claimed, ‘Facebook’ enhances intelligence, ‘Twitter’ diminishes it, both are leading social networking sites. In fact, playing video war games and solving Sudoku may have the same effect as keeping up to date with Facebook, while text messaging, micro-blogging on Twitter can weaken “working memory” which involves the ability both to remember information and to use it. Since I am both a Twitter and Facebook user, I really couldn’t tell whether the result of the study is true or not. If you are a Social Network Website user particularly Twitter or Facebook, would you agree to the result of the said study?
Dr Alloway has extensively studied working memory and believes it to be far more important to success and happiness than IQ. In fact, her team has developed a working memory training programme that greatly increased the performance of slow-learning children aged 11 to 14 at a school.
Dr. Alloway said that the fact that Facebook users keep track of their updates and think about what they are going to post next are beneficial for exercising one’s working memory. In contrast, Twitter may have the opposite effect since the microblogging site just let users receive “an endless stream of information which are very succint”. These information do not require processing for one to get what message it is trying to convey. Hence a Twitter user fan’s attention span is reduced and one’s brain is not engaged at all.
Working memory involves the ability both to remember information and to use it. At a job interview, a candidate will employ working memory to match answers to questions in the most impressive way. Her team has developed a working memory training programme that greatly increased the performance of slow-learning children aged 11 to 14 at a school in Durham.
After eight weeks of ”JungleMemory” training, the children saw 10 point improvements in IQ, literacy and numeracy tests. A number who started off close to the bottom of the class ended up near the top which was a massive effect.