Remarkably enough there are some health benefits of using Facebook. Researchers from the University of Arizona showed that older people can actually use the social media site to stay sharp and improve brain activity. Since the site is always updating and changing and there are so many activities and people to stay connected with, Facebook may be the new Tetris for those in their golden years.
The study involved 14 people between the ages of 68 and 91 years of age. These participants had never used the site before or they used it as infrequently as less than once a month. The adults were forced to use the site at least once a day and they were encouraged to friend the people in the trial. Another group in the study used the site Penzu.com, which is an online diary site. All of the diaries are kept private and there is no social network to share your entries with.
“Before the tests, participants completed a series of tests which assessed their levels loneliness and social support, as well as their cognitive abilities.
The assessments were done again at the end of the study, eight weeks later.
In the follow-ups, those who had learned to use Facebook performed about 25 per cent better than they did at the start of the study on tasks designed to measure their mental updating abilities.
Participants in the other group saw no significant change in performance.
Lead researcher Janelle Wohltmann, from the University of Arizona department of psychology, said: ’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.”