Are social media making us smarter or dumber? Can it do both? Science says so.
You’re probably wondering how this is possible. Well it all depends on how you’re using social media.
How social media makes us smarter:
- Can improve verbal, research, and critical-thinking skills. This is because they aware that they are publicly speaking to an online audience, so they feel the need to produce the best post. They also are seeking critiques before they post things on social media, allowing them to learn how to enhance their writing. These results are especially true when there are character counts, because the limit challenges users to be more creative with their language.
- Students and young people are writing outside of the classroom. That is the social part of social media. They are spending hours on extracurricular composition in the form of tweets, texts, emails, comments, photo captions, and discussion boards.
- Social Media users have larger brains. The social media experience uses auditory, visual, and emotional stimuli, so it is exercising your brain every time you check your news feed, thus growing your brain.
- People are exposed to more information than they are in face-to-face interactions. Because everyone is on social media, you are able to interact with people that you wouldn’t have otherwise that can teach you about almost any topic you could imagine. In other words, you are expanding your knowledge by constantly learning new things.
- Creativity is boosted. By looking at what other people are doing on social media, you can find inspiration almost anywhere for almost anything. Also, communicating and sharing ideas with others in real time, you are getting different viewpoints on issues and topics that help you look at things in a different way.
- You are able to think faster. Everything on the internet is immediate now, so creating comments and live posts challenge you to think better quicker.
How social media makes us dumber:
- Analytical thinking can become harder. People may begin to rely on other people’s opinions more and more which decreases critical thinking and limits thinking for ourselves because we are just copying what other have already thought.
- More accessible information does not mean better information. Having all this information does not mean we are actually getting correct information. Plus, since we know that we have access to all this information, we are less likely to actively seek out new information just for the purpose of learning,
- Social media usage causes shorter attention spans. Ten years agothe average attention span was 12 minutes. In just a decade it’s been reduced to five seconds.
- You are thinking and contemplating less. Again, because accessing any information on the internet in immediate, we are reflecting less about things we see on social media because it takes time and effort. Plus, most things we view on social media don’t require any feedback or discussion.
The best way to ensure you are receiving positive benefits from social media is to use your social media to challenge your brain, rather than mindlessly scrolling through videos of people who just got their wisdom teeth removed. The internet is full of learning opportunities so take advantage of it to avoid damaging your intelligence.