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Psychologist: Twitter Makes You Stupid

A psychologist is claiming that micro-blogging on Twitter will make its users stupid. If the news isn't depressing enough, text messaging and watching YouTube drains just as much intelligence, or rather, will likely weaken "working memory" according to the good doctor. However, there's good news for Internet surfers looking for something to do: apparently spending loads of time on Facebook is just as healthy as playing a game of Tetris or solving a Sudoku puzzle.

As reported by the Telegraph, Dr. Tracy Alloway, working out of the University of Stirling in Scotland, says that working memory is the ability to remember information, and actually put that information to use. After extensive research in working memory, she believes that success and happiness stem from this ability rather than having high IQs. She also believes that certain video games can train working memory, especially those that involve planning and strategy.

Although Facebook offers "thinking" games such as Sudoku, managing friends and dates on the social website exercises the working memory. Twitter, YouTube and texting, on the other hand, isn't exactly healthy. "On Twitter you receive an endless stream of information, but it's also very succinct,'' said Dr Alloway. ''You don't have to process that information. Your attention span is being reduced and you're not engaging your brain and improving nerve connections.''

Dr. Alloway's research included an eight-week training session with children aged 11 to 14 which focused on increasing the performance of their working memory. Upon completion, the children saw 10 point improvements in IQ, numeracy and literacy tests.