Attention all social media addicts: Facebook makes you smarter! But Twitter makes you dumber. That’s the word from Dr. Tracy Alloway, a psychologist from the University of Stirling in Scotland. She says it all has to do with your “working memory,” which involves the ability to both remember information and to use it. For example, at a job interview, a candidate will use their working memory to answer questions about past job experiences and relate it to the position they’re applying for. Well, according to Alloway, Facebook enhances this type of memory. But text messaging and “tweeting” are both likely to weaken it.
So why does Facebook help? Dr. Alloway says that keeping up with your friends stretches your working memory. You visit their pages, read their conversations, send them messages, look at their pictures and so on. And all of this exercises your mind - you remember things about them and use it to comment back. But the “instant” nature of texting and tweeting has the opposite effect. In fact, studies have actually linked extensive texting to lower IQ scores.