If you can't handle us at our Facebook worst, you don't deserve us at our Insta best.
We’ve all got that one friend who constantly posts inspirational quotes on social media. Marilyn Monroe on their Instagram, Shakespeare on their Facebook. We get it – it’s nice to improve every day with some words of wisdom or courage, and when something speaks to you, you want to share it. We can’t always find the right words to express what we’re feeling and it can be cathartic to let someone else who’s felt the same things speak for us.
But if we’re totally honest? When it’s all day every day and they’re all quotes from Marilyn Monroe, it can sometimes get a tiny bit annoying.
So if these inspiring quotes, posted over pretty pictures, set your teeth on edge then you’re going to love this. Research suggests that the people who post those pics? They might actually have a lower IQ than people who abstain.
How did they work this out? Well, researchers asked people to evaluate statements. Some of the statements were quite meaningless, like “most people enjoy some kind of music”, some were a bit deeper, for instance this one from Deepak Chopra: “Nature is a self-regulating ecosystem of awareness”, and others were buzzwords generated by a website.
Some people failed to notice the difference between the meaningful quotes and the genuinely profound ones, and those people were the ones who share a whole lot of inspirational quotes online. Oops.
Gordon Pennycock who lead the study, wasn’t pulling any punches when he commented on the research. In fact, he was pretty harsh. We reckon he probably won’t be appearing on any motivational posters this week. ‘Those more receptive to bulls**t are less reflective, lower in cognitive ability – numeracy, verbal and fluid intelligence), are more prone to ontological confusions and conspiratorial ideation, are more likely to hold religious and paranormal beliefs, and are more likely to endorse complementary and alternative medicine.’ Way harsh, Gordon!
So there you go. People who share lots of inspirational pictures might not be quite as smart as people who don’t. Only, maybe don’t mention this to anyone who likes to bring a little sunshine to your news feed with an inspiring picture…