People remember Facebook updates more than faces and literature: Study

Researchers have found that people tend to remember Facebook posts more than the actual faces of people and information they have read in books.

By Sameer Mitha Published Date
18 - Jan - 2013
| Last Updated
18 - Jan - 2013
People remember Facebook updates more than faces and literature:...

A recent study has shown that people remember posts that they have seen on Facebook a lot easier than they do names, faces, or even information they read in a book.

Researchers from the University of Warwick and UC San Diego suggests that the gossipy nature of the conversations that happen on the social networking website make it easier to remember than something that is written in a more formal and informative manner.

"One could view the past five thousand years of painstaking, careful writing as the anomaly," said UC San Diego Professor Nicholas Christenfeld. "Modern technologies allow written language to return more closely to the casual, personal style of pre-literate communication. And this is the style that resonates, and is remembered."

The report goes on to say, “In the first two experiments, participants’ memory for Facebook posts was found to be strikingly stronger than their memory for human faces or sentences from books—a magnitude comparable to the difference in memory strength between amnesiacs and healthy controls. The second experiment suggested that this difference is not due to Facebook posts spontaneously generating social elaboration, because memory for posts is enhanced as much by adding social elaboration as is memory for book sentences.”

"Our findings might not seem so surprising when one considers how important both memory and the social world have been for survival over humans' ancestral history," Professor Christine Harris said. "We learn about rewards and threats from others. So it makes sense that our minds would be tuned to be particularly attentive to the activities and thoughts of people and to remember the information conveyed by them."

These findings can be a great help for those interested in finding better tools for imparting education, communications, giving out information or just plain advertising. It can also be used as a tool to spread relative information about the current happenings as well as spread general knowledge. What remains to be seen is how some people find a relevant way to misuse this information.

Source: PCmag and Springer Link

Sameer MithaSameer Mitha

Sameer Mitha lives for gaming and technology is his muse. When he isn’t busy playing with gadgets or video games he delves into the world of fantasy novels.