For some inexplicable reason, I’ve been under the impression that social media users are smarter than non-users. This is possibly because I associated social media with college campuses due to Facebook’s beginnings, but I really don’t know if that’s true or not. What I do know is that it’s not been scientifically proven, although a Scottish Psychologist is doing her best to back me up. According to a Mashable post from a month ago, Dr. Alloway is testing a “working memory training” program for children who are slower learners than their classmates. According to the post;
“…she found out that Facebook did wonders for working memory, improving the kids’ IQ scores, while YouTube and Twitter’s steady stream of information was not healthy for working memory.”
So, Twitter is of no help, and Facebook seems to be a great help. Yet, when I pulled the latest Quantcast demographic data for the two sites, there wasn’t much to see. Although users of Facebook and Twitter are more likely to graduate college than the average Internet user, it’s by small margins. Twitter users are 4% more likely to have a degree, while Facebook members are 3% more likely to have graduated.
MaxiSopoYet,espite the educational edge, Facebook and Twitter have their share of idiots, the latest pair of which have ended up in jail due to, of all things, their updates. The first is Maxi Sopo, a fugitive from US Justice living in Cancun, hidden from US Law Enforcement. Sopo has been accused of fraud, allegedly stealing $200,000 from Seattle banks. The FBI had scoured social networks in their search for Sopo, but nothing materialized. Then, the Secret Service found him on Facebook several months later, living large. In addition to making the error of adding himself to Facebook, Maxi Sopo had also added a friend who worked, of all places, for the Department of Justice. Mr. Sopo is in a Mexican jail awaiting extradition.
Then there is ol’ Jonathan Parker, a man currently in jail facing a ten-year prison stretch for burglary. The Pennsylvania native, while in the midst of his felony crime, stopped to check his Facebook account. Unfortunately, he forgot to log out of his account before leaving the scene.
Last, and definitely worst, John Forehand.
Another Pennsylvania loser, the 39 year-old father of a 13 year-old girl was arrested for propositioning his own daughter for sex using Facebook. Referring to himself as “Bad Daddy” online, he openly made explicit suggestions of a sexual nature. This was after admitting to the girl that he had been dreaming of her inappropriately.
My question is this: why would someone who engages in crime for a living, a relatively personal and secret occupation, be on a “social network” in the first place? I’d think that their chosen occupations would cause them to be cautious and anti-social by nature.