Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Facebook Posts Enhance Memories

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Facebook Posts Enhance Memories

Article excerpt

A new study--the first to look at social media's effect on memory--suggests posting personal experiences on social media makes those events much easier to recall.

"If people want to remember personal experiences, the best way is to put them online," said Qi Wang, lead author of the study. "Social media--blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and others alike--provide an important outlet for us to recall memories, in the public space, and share with other people."

Memory researchers have long known that when people write about personal experiences, reflect on them, or discuss them with others, they tend to remember those events much better. "The process of writing about one's experiences in the public sphere, often sustained by subsequent social feedback, may allow people to reflect on the experiences," the study said.

The act of posting on social media also plays a role in the construction of the self, said Wang, an expert in personal memory.

"We create a sense of self in the process of recalling, evaluating, and sharing with others memories of personal experiences in our lives," Wang said.

That's especially facilitated by the interactive functions on many social media sites. For example, Facebook periodically shows users photos and posts from previous years to remind them of those events, prompting users to revisit those experiences. …

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