People Remember Facebook Status Updates a Lot Better than Photos, Book Quotes

Their form is more similar to human speech, so people remember them easier

By on January 17th, 2013 20:21 GMT

No one pays too much attention to Facebook status updates or even most tweets. It makes sense; most are meaningless even to the friends of those posting them.

But maybe it's not such a great idea to dismiss status updates so easily. A new study shows that they are much more memorable than book quotes or even Facebook photos.

That may have more to do with the form of the status updates rather than with their intrinsic value, but the researchers found that they are indeed easier to remember.

The study showed the test subjects run-of-the-mill status updates, photos and book quotes. The status updates were pulled from Facebook, the quotes from Amazon's newest releases and were randomly picked. Both were relatively short and simple.

Yet people were much more likely to remember the status updates, "comparable to the difference in memory strength between amnesics and healthy controls" the researchers at UC San Diego said.

The reason why this happens, they believe, is that status updates are more similar to regular human speech, to which our brains are tuned to. The idea is that if it's easy for us to say it, it's easy for us to remember it.

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