Over the weekend a news story caught my eye that dealt with Facebook increasing working memory and thus intelligence. In the same news story, the researcher also pointed out that Twitter is bad because it is information overload. Dr. Alloway, a Psychologist who conducted the research at University of Stirling in Scotland concluded that on Twitter
“Your attention span is being reduced and you’re not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections.”
Though I partly agree with that observation, I also have to point out here that he includes Twitter in the category of YouTube where you are sometimes browsing meaningless but amusing videos and not retaining anything.
Twitter is information overload because it is the new kid on the block. Twitter has come along way from being termed as plain “stupid” to being a tool of choice these days for most people who engage in meaningful conversation and stay aware.
It is too early for any researcher to be comparing Twitter and Facebook. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Facebook is social networking and Twitter is micro-blogging, two different fish that look similar on the outside.