In the beginning, I had an inactive Twitter account. Now I have some followers and sometimes worry that I have nothing interesting to say. Does Twitter help me with anything or just delay everything?
In other words, can regular Twitter use help focus the mind and improve other aspects of cognition? This might seem like a bit of a long shot, but there is some evidence to suggest that journaling or diary keeping can help aid decision-making and reduce stress. However, Twitter is a very different beast, not least because it involves 140 characters and social interaction.
A second question. Could the use of social media cause intellectual harm? If there is a positive effect on thinking and communicating, can this be reversed by excessive use? Given the growing number of people who actively engage with some form of social media, the issue probably merits further investigation.
Wouldn't it be nice if all that time spent on Twitter wasn't just helping people network and share ideas, but also raised their IQ by a couple of points too!
The possibility remains that regular Twitter use may have absolutely no effect on an individual’s personality, cognition or subsequent behavior. Anecdotally however, people always tell me how all that time spent on Twitter was really productive and thought provoking. This may well be true, but it's also a symptom of cognitive dissonance.
As for me, I am undecided, but if anyone is interested in researching this issue further, please get in touch.