Limit the Overexposure to Social Media; it can Cause Short-Term Memory Loss

By  , Agency News
Sep 24, 2013

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  • People who spend too much time browsing social media could lose important information.
  • Brain exposed to social media browsing can easily become clogged by information overload.
  • Stuffing more information in working memory, fails information processing ability.
  • It also robs the brain off time it needs to do some necessary housekeeping.

If you spend too much time online, then please take a break for your memory is at stake. A new study has warned that spending too much time browsing social media can be harmful for one’s cognitive abilities.

social networking impactAccording to Erik Fransen, a researcher from Stockholm’s KTH Royal Institute of Technology, an idle brain in fact does important work and in this age of constant information overload, it’s a good idea to go offline on a regular basis.

The research focuses on short-term memory and ways to treat diseased neurons, explained how brain exposed to a typical session of social media browsing can be easily clogged by information overload. The result is that less information gets filed away in your memory.

"Working memory enables us to filter out information and find what we need in the communication. It enables us to work online and store what we find online, but it's also a limited resource," Fransen said.

"At any given time, the working memory can carry up to three or four items. When we attempt to stuff more information in the working memory, our capacity for processing information begins to fail.

"When you are on Facebook, you are making it harder to keep the things that are 'online' in your brain that you need. "In fact, when you try to process sensory information like speech or video, you are going to need partly the same system of working memory, so you are reducing your own working memory capacity.
"And when you try to store many things in your working memory, you get less good at processing information," he said.

The brain also gets robbed off the time it needs to do some necessary housekeeping. The brain is designed for both activity and relaxation, Fransen said.

"The brain is made to go into a less active state, which we might think is wasteful; but probably memory consolidation, and transferring information into memory takes place in this state. Theories of how memory works explain why these two different states are needed.

"When we max out our active states with technology equipment, just because we can, we remove from the brain part of the processing, and it can't work," Fransen said.


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