Scientists say there's a direct link between how many Facebook friends a guy has and how much gray matter crams his cranium.
Here's the Halloween scary part - the overly friended brain measures BIGGER than brains with better things to do than get distracted for hours on end on Facebook.
I'll wait a moment so you can toggle over and check your friends list to see how smart you are.
The study from the University College of London Institute surprises me. Basically, social networking is a cross between hit-and-run pen pals and weirdly amusing imaginary friends.
The more friends a person has, real or pretend - I mean, real world or online social network - the greater the volume in the region of the brain that processes memory and emotional responses, according to the institute's Cognitive Neuroscience and the Welcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging.
Plus, three other regions of the brain are larger in the people with the most ''virtual'' friends, but not necessarily ''real'' friends, the reports states. Researchers ran brain scans on 125 university students who were active Facebook users.
I can't wait to tell my imaginary friends Goo-Goo, Gee-Gee and Ga-Ga this. They always get a hoot out of weird wiring science.
Previous research linked Facebook to narcissism and social outcasts.
Hey, just because we hide for hours a day behind a computer screen posting photos of ourselves, alarmists jump to the conclusion that we're self-idolizing riffraff.
The new study proves that this is not true. We are self-idolizing riffraff with swollen skulls.
When I was a kid trying to sneak in extra TV time, my dad would yell, ''Get away from that screen. That stuff will rot your brain.''
Does this mean that if a kid tries to sneak away from the laptop to run outside with a football, dads need to yell, ''Get back in front of that screen. That stuff will grow your brain''?
Again, that's Halloween scary.
Personally, I click onto Facebook for light shriveling of the brain cells while putting off what I'm supposed to be doing.
What sounds more refreshing to you, wading through a technical treatise that begins, ''Digitization of library materials can provide greater access to information for a wider audience, but may also result in a loss of information from the original material'' or chuckling through a typical Facebook posting such as ''I need a Lucky Charms intervention''?
Whoops. BOTH of those are actual status updates posted by friends of mine.
That must mean that I do possess brilliance of brain! I've cultivated friends who both show smarts (Daniel of Reynoldsburg) and excellence of taste in breakfast cereals (Roseann of Warren).
According to Facebook, there are 800 million active users worldwide, and the average user boasts 130 virtual friends.
I've accumulated more than 700 friends. I doubt that proves much. If I posted a call to help clean the garage, only three would show up - provided that two of them misread the status as an invite to a pizza party.
While I give that a try, remember, someone is measuring your brain by how many pretend friends you have. That's Halloween scary.
---- Scare up Cole at email@example.com -- or look on Facebook.