Research Scientist of Learning and Education
Laura Mickes and team report that in a series of controlled experiments participants’ memory for Facebook posts was found to be significantly stronger than their memory for human faces or sentences from books.
Nicholas J. S. Christenfeld, a member of the team, suggested that these Facebook posts are similar to pre-literate communication. It resonates with people and is remembered.
The team found these differences through a series of self-paced recognition tests.
Mickes said, The difference was a magnitude comparable to the difference in memory strength between amnesics and healthy controls.
Modern technologies allow written language to return more closely to the casual, personal style of pre-literate communication. This is the style that resonates, and is remembered, opined Christenfeld.
These experiments bring up a couple of unanswered questions. How did familiarity with or frequency of using Facebook and other media contribute to results? Do those who prefer to read books remember differently from those more familiar with social media? What difference does "authority" for making memorable statements contribute? Why do people remember more gossip than scientific facts?
In any case, Kudos, team, for raising more questions about what people remember, pithy, poignant, spontaneous writing. It's more grist to remember.