Facebook Makes Your Brain Big. Twitter Doesn't.
Need an excuse to eschew the so-called Facebook exodus? Well, here's one: the site makes you smart! Twitter, meanwhile, turns you into an aggressive, drooling knuckle-dragger.
According to Tracy Alloway, a doctor, Facebook and its expansive networks help humans hone their "working memory," which helps us retain and manipulate information. It's that power, not IQ, that proves more important to our ability to succeed. And the best part is even the poorest of the poor can benefit:
It doesn't matter if your mother left school at 15 or got a PhD, it's a level playing field. Not only does working memory have a profound impact on every aspect of our working lives but now there is exciting evidence that we can train it and improve it.
Hoorah! Let us rejoice. But don't Twitter about it. Alloway warns that the site's "rapid-fire" nature can have a detrimental impact on our working memory: "Twitter can cause harm because it produces a stream of information every second with no opportunity to process or manipulate that information." A poor working memory can be linked to aggressive behavior, which means that the site's fans are well on their way to becoming violent, idiotic vagabonds hell-bent on destroying the world.
Of course, while working memory may be boosted by Facebook, Alloway does not address what impact virtual socialization, however helpful, has on the meaning of human relations, if such a thing even still exists.
She claims Facebook helps us feel as if we're part of a group, but, really, what's the importance of belonging if the only interaction's over the computer? Just because we can process information in a more efficient way, doesn't mean that we're actually improving our society and maintaining healthy human contact. But, you know, everything's a trade-off.