According to a new study published in the journal Memory & Cognition even if the Facebook posts are from complete strangers, they’re about one and a half times more memorable than sentences in books and two and a half times more memorable than faces.
Researchers from the University of California and the University of Scranton speculate that the reason as to why Facebook posts are so unforgettable is because of their coherency and “gossipy” tone. What your friend got up to on Saturday night is easier to recall than a line from an Austen novel.
To test this, the researchers asked 280 undergraduates to read 100 sentences pulled from Facebook pages, 100 sentences extracted from books and a series of pictures of human faces.
The participants were then prompted with the same phrases and pictures and asked to recall which ones they had seen previously. Which were more memorable? The students remembered more of the Facebook posts than either the reading passages or the faces.
The authors of the study suggest that casually written and unedited posts are more “mind-ready”, meaning they mimic natural how we speak naturally and therefore stick to our minds more.