I’ve seen a whole spate of articles like this one in the recent few months that frankly, raise my hackles (what is a hackle, actually?)
The reason is the premise is all wrong.
They are claiming that the technology – in this case, Twitter – can actually make you smarter, based on a semester long study of student who use / don’t use Twitter. The ones who did reportedly had higher GPAs.
Never mind that a GPA is hardly a measure of intelligence (the correlated premise of the article), but more importantly “Twitter” is only the technology that enables something that humans already do (and always have): communicate.
If these students are already the type who share and partake in a higher amount of information exchange, then the technology is just the medium. You can’t attribute increased GPAs to the technology, rather to the type of person who uses it.
And for that matter, they should have – if they wanted to prove that there is a correlation between social networking and increased grades – included Facebook and other programs.
Methodology of the study aside, it’s an example of the kind of channeled thinking that is so limiting.