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Millions of people stealthily attempt to conceal the hours spent on Facebook when they should be working. Some have even been fired for unwisely posting good times had when they were supposed to be home sick. But Facebook isn’t an evil abyss of brain-destroying, job-losing nothingness. It can actually make you smarter.
5 Video Games Improve Critical Thinking
While you’ve been avoiding doing anything productive by playing Facebook games, you’ve unwittingly improved your critical thinking skills. Thanks to Facebook, gaming isn’t just for the nerdy kid avoiding the scorn of his peers in his basement. Millions of Facebook users play games like Farmville and Candy Crush Saga every day. According to neurologist Judy Willis, video games teach you to solve problems creatively by generating a situation in which your brain is chemically rewarded with the production of dopamine when you use critical thinking. So play on, gamers.
4 Improved Memory
Pyschologist Tracy Alloway claims that one of the side effects of keeping up to date on the goings on of your Facebook crew is increased memory. In real life, you probably have less than 20 close friends you keep track of. That’s a cakewalk for your brain. On Facebook, you might have more than 200 friends, which requires your brain to do some mental gymnastics to keep them all straight. Maybe if you waste enough time on Facebook, you’ll start remembering where you left your keys or purse. You might even solve the mystery of those missing socks.
3 Cute Pictures Improve Focus
You can’t login to Facebook without running smack into a cuddly, squishy cute thing. Japan’s Hiroshima University conducted a study that suggested that cute animals help us focus and perform tasks more efficiently. The study is called the “Power of Kawaii,” or the “Power of Cute,” and was published in the online edition of the U.S. journal “Plos One.” Researchers divided their test subjects into groups, showing some groups baby animals, while others looked at adult animals, food, or nothing at all. They found that folks who looked at cute things concentrated better than the other groups.
2 Better Writing Skills
The cruel mockery of your Facebook friends forces you to try to spell and punctuate your status updates properly, but that’s not the only way Facebook improves your writing skills. In 2001, Stanford University began the Stanford Study of Writing and found that students who wrote on Facebook and other websites became better writers because of it. When compared to the writing of their peers in the 1980s, today’s kids include more ideas and information in their writing and they change tone and content based on what they’re writing and who it’s intended for. Yes, this is a good thing, even if they still use too many LOLs and OMGs.
1 More Friends Equals More Brain
Researchers at University College in London have published a study in the “Proceedings of the Royal Society B” that links brain structure to Facebook activity. The study shows that those with higher friend counts had more grey matter density in the amygdala (an area of the brain that is linked to socialization and memory function), as well as other regions of the brain, such as the right entorhinal cortex, which is also associated with memory. So stop being so stingy with the friend requests.