Thinking about deactivating your Facebook account? Hold up. You may need it, according to a recent study from the University of Arizona.
UPI reported on Thursday, February 21 that the study revealed a 25 percent boost in memory functions in the elderly and also helped the participants overcome feelings of loneliness.
The elderly Facebook users, aged 68 to 91, were told to make friends with their training group and post at least one update per day. A second group was set up on an online diary site with no social sharing component.
The Facebook group performed about 25 percent better on memory functions than they did at the start of the study. The online diary group showed no change.
(Facebook representatives should be happy to hear this information in light of a recent study showing their users run a greater risk of obesity.)
Janelle Wohltmann, lead researcher on the project, believed the improvements were due to a process called “updating.”
“The big difference between the online diary and Facebook is that when you create a diary entry, you create the entry, you save it, and that’s all you see,” Wohltmann said in an interview with The Daily Mail.
With Facebook, Wohltmann noted, “Several people are posting new things, so new information is constantly getting posted. You’re seeing this new information coming in, and you need to focus on the new information and get rid of the old information, or keep it in mind if you want to go back and reference it later.”
Wohltmann described the process as “updating.”
Coupled with a recent report that Facebook doesn’t allow you to age, this is another day of good news for anyone over 65.
Are you or anyone you know over 65 and an active Facebook user? Do you feel the site helps with mental sharpness and loneliness?