Did you think Facebook was just for posting selfies and checking into your favorite locations? You should think again. Facebook is now being linked to increasing the brain power in the elderly. The older generation is turning to this popular social media site to keep their minds sharp.
A study has found that the elderly, after learning to use the site, performed 25 percent better in tasks designed to measure their ability to continuously monitor and to quickly add or delete the contents of their working memory. Researcher Janelle Wohltmann held an eight-week study using participants between the ages of 68 – 91. They were split in to two groups: one using Facebook with social interaction and the second group using a private online diary. Each group was instructed to post something at least once a day. The study was set to measure social variables, such as their levels of loneliness and social support, as well as their cognitive abilities
The elderly Facebook users performed about 25 percent better than when they first started using the website. The theory is based on the thought that new tasks can help the older generation with overall cognitive function. The participants in the non Facebook group showed little to no improvement in their mental ability. “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, so you have to constantly update what’s there in your attention,” explains Wohtmann.
Facebook now has a new target audience to make addicts of their social media site. At least through continuing research, Facebook will be used as a tool to measure the level of brain power in the elderly generation. Staying focus and connected to the constantly changing environment is key to increasing the brains cognitive ability.