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Social media might make us more intelligent

Spending time on social media might actually be doing your literacy skills a favour.

A researcher managed to find a connection between social media use and language complexity, according to the Independent. Ivan Smirnov, from the National Research University Higher School of Economics in Moscow, studied the social media posts of around one million people on a Russian social media site called VK over the course of nine years.

He analysed the length of the words and found that people who spend years posting online begin to use more complex language. The overall language complexity of posts on social media is increasing, the paper stating that this can’t be explained solely by ageing, because “15-year-old users in 2016 wrote more complex posts than users of any age in 2008”.


“Our results suggest that social media do not lead to language degradation,” the paper concludes. “Instead, users change their language practices in this environment to produce more sophisticated texts than in previous years.”

Daisy Wilder