Sharing Information On Social Media Can Harm Your Learning And Memory

If you find a cool article online, is your first instinct to share it on social media? If so, you might want to break the habit as new data shows that sharing information in this way may be interfering with your memory and ability to learn. Researchers at Cornell University gave groups of students at Beijing University a series of messages on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter. After reading each message, half the participants were allowed to either repost the message or move onto the next option. The other group was only allowed to move onto the next message. After this, the students were all given an online test on the content of the messages they had just read. Those in the group that were allowed to repost material gave twice as many wrong answers and often demonstrated poor comprehension. Professor and researcher Qi Wang with Cornell explains, “Sharing leads to cognitive overload, and that interferes with the subsequent task. In real life when students are surfing online and exchanging information and right after that they go to take a test, they may perform worse.” (Daily Mail)