The social media site not only fails to enhance intellectual attainment but substantially undermines it, economists said in a working paper.
Twitter, used by 126 million people daily and now ubiquitous in some industries, has vowed to reform itself after being enlisted as a tool of misinformation and hate.
But new evidence shows that the platform may be inflicting harm at an even more basic level. It could be making its users, well, a bit witless.
The finding by a team of Italian researchers is not necessarily that the crush of hashtags, likes and retweets destroys brain cells; that’s a question for neuroscientists, they said.
Rather, Twitter not only fails to enhance intellectual attainment but substantially undermines it, the economists said in a working paper published by the economics and finance department at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan.
“It’s quite detrimental,” said Gian Paolo Barbetta, a professor of economic policy at the private research university and the paper’s lead author. “I can’t say whether something is changing in the mind, but I can say that something is definitely changing in the behavior and the performance.”
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"Twitter making students a bit witless, study suggests"; by Isaac Stanley-Becker Washington Post; Star Tribune; June 29, 2019