Science & Tech

People who use Facebook show signs of being more intelligent

Shutterstock / tongcom photographer

Ignore the warnings, because spending your life on social media might actually be doing your literacy levels a favour.

A researcher has done us all a favour and managed to find a link between social media use and language complexity.

Ivan Smirnov, from the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, studied the social media posts of almost one million people on a Russian social media site called VK over nine years.

By analysing word lengths, he found that people who spend years posting online begin to use more complex language.

Also, the overall language complexity of posts on the social networking site is constantly increasing – the paper says this can’t be explained by ageing alone, because “15-year-old users in 2016 wrote more complex posts than users of any age in 2008”.

The paper concludes:

Our results suggest that social media do not lead to language degradation.

Instead, users change their language practices in this environment to produce more sophisticated texts than in previous years.

So there you are - get onto Facebook and update your status with as many grandiloquent words as possible.

More: The 'social media bubble' is dividing us, but not in the way you expect

The Conversation (0)