Social media may improve cognitive abilities in senior citizens, as demonstrated in an ongoing research study at the University of Arizona. 68-91 year-old adults were asked to set up a Facebook account and update their status daily. Participants in the control group were asked to maintain a private blog with daily entries. The adults who spent two months on Facebook showed a 25% improvement in their working memory and concentration. Control participants showed no improvement.
Several interpretations support these findings. Perhaps people who are more socially engaged in old age tend to do better cognitively. It could also be that the relative complexity of Facebook compared to a blog – keeping track of everyone’s status updates, comments, photos, etc. – gave the participants more of a mental workout.
Given results from this study, we recommend that you accept the Friend requests from your parents. ;)