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Does Facebook Stress You Out?

Amount of Facebook friends linked to anxiety

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The more Facebook friends people have , the more likely they are to feel stressed out by the site, according to a new study by Scottish researchers.

Do you feel stressed by the number of Facebook Friends you have? Let us know in the comments.

Psychologists from Edinburgh Napier University surveyed 200 students on their use of Facebook, and found that a for a significant number of users the negative effect of the social network outweighed the benefits of staying in touch with friends and family.

Dr-Kathy-Charles “The results threw up a number of paradoxes,” said Dr Kathy Charles, who led the study. “For instance, although there is great pressure to be on Facebook there is also considerable ambivalence amongst users about its benefits.”
 
“Our data also suggests that there is a significant minority of users who experience considerable Facebook-related anxiety, with only very modest or tenuous rewards.And we found it was actually those with the most contacts, those who had invested the most time in the site, who were the ones most likely to be stressed.”
 

Highlights of the study include:

*12 percent of respondents said that Facebook made them feel anxious.  Of these, respondents had an average of 117 ‘friends’ each.  The remaining 88% of respondents, who said that Facebook did not make them feel anxious, had an average of 75 ‘friends’ each.

*63 percent delayed replying to friend requests

*32 percent said rejecting friend requests led to feelings of guilt and discomfort

*10 percent admitted disliking receiving friend requests

“An overwhelming majority of respondents reported that the best thing about Facebook was ‘keeping in touch’, often without any further explanation,” said Dr Charles. “But many also told us they were anxious about withdrawing from the site for fear of missing important social information or offending contacts.
 
“Like gambling, Facebook keeps users in a neurotic limbo, not knowing whether they should hang on in there just in case they miss out on something good.”

She said other causes of stress included deleting unwanted contacts, the pressure to be entertaining, and having to use appropriate etiquette for different types of friends.

“The other responses we got in focus groups and one-to-one interviews suggests that the survey figures actually under represent aspects of stress and anxiety felt by some Facebook users, whether it’s through feelings of exclusion, pressure to be entertaining, paranoia or envy of others’ lifestyles,” said Dr. Charles.

WebProNews reached out to Dr. Charles for additional commentary about the Facebook study but has yet to receive a response.

Over at Slashdot commenter RoberM1968 had the following to say:

I dont find the amount of FB friends I have stressful, nor do I find deleting any of them stressful. I think people need to start reconnecting with the real world if they suffer stress from such things. Then again, the real world is a lot more stressful… maybe they should keep wasting their time on FB worrying about such "stressful" things – it’s a lot less stress than the real world nowadays.

Does Facebook stress you out? Let us know in the comments.

Does Facebook Stress You Out?
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  • http://www.sjdiscountcosmeticstore.co.uk stephen reading

    Personally i have made a lot new friends on facebook and also found a lot of old friends i had lost touch with many years ago. Just enjoy socialising and dont let it pressure you, when you log off forget about it. You dont have to please every one all of the time any body who puts pressure on you just delete them its only for fun.

  • http://www.growinherbsforbeginners.com Rhonda

    We only use it for a small fan page, so no-there’s no stress. I knew early on I was not going to be Facebooking.

  • The quiet one

    I heard the horror stories prior to first log-in, so avoided many pitfalls. Like I did not click ‘yes’ on any of the email notifications, nor allow my private stuff to be revealed. I put a stop immediately to all game apps appearing on my newsfeed. I do not accept many friend requests at all, but if I decline one, I write to explain why I did so. It’s not acquaintance lists! I keep my list to under 50 at the most and even hide most of those. Keeping it simple is the key.

    I enjoy the folks who I do interact with and do most communicating via messages, not in public. What’s so difficult? I am also not a teenager with the accompanying identity issues! Bless those young struggling text-ers! And I don’t own a cellphone…even simpler!

    Thanks for the study…sent it to a few friends.

  • http://www.mysute.com hi

    this spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur timethis spam if u read this u waste ur time

  • http://africatopforum.com Africa

    Personally I am yet to use this very site.

  • http://4350.net mark

    I don’t use facebook but I’m stressed just having to put up with so much analytical data about how incapable some are of utilising such simplified technologies….

    dump fakebook… and get a life

  • Angelina

    Facebook is just a tool. What we feel by using it depends solely on us. If you are feeling guilty by not accepting a friend request, then you should seek the problem in you, not in facebook.

    And then its all a matter of priorities. Facebook provides great opportunities of reaching out people for promotion, information, education. People are going to have to choose from whom they get information and news. If one keeps everything coming in, then its only natural that one will eventually freak out and abandon the platform. There are only 24 hours during a day, you cannot keep up with every single insignificant detail. The truth is though, that facebook does not help in choosing information. For example, anyone can send to anyone an event invitation. And if one doesn’t respond to it it still shows in the list of ones events. So if you get 100 event invitations, you cannot be informed about the ones you have accepted. If you don’t have time to decline 99 event invitations they will still show in your event list. This can be stressing and this is a flaw of Facebook as a software. Friend requests are able to view your wall until you respond to them. This forces one to use very strickt privacy rules.

    So apart from personal usage, stress may come from the flaws of facebook-software.

  • http://www.ChrisMoline.com Chris @WebMindSet

    Yep, the first time one of my old girlfriends re-connected, I started to sweat and want to run away.
    So, I went skydiving :)
    And ignored her.
    And thanked GOD for my super-cool (and smokin’ sweet) wife

  • http://www.mamiko.ro bebe

    Indeed we have to live in a real world!

  • http://soulfulthought.blogspot.com Moshe Sharon

    The word “Stress” actually relates to wear and tear as when the rubber meets the road on a tire or the brake pads pressing up against the rotor in the wheel. The term as it applies to living organisms was first introduced by Hans Seyle in the 1930’s who defined it as the consequence of the failure of an organism (human or animal) to respond appropriately to emotional or physical threats, whether actual or imagined. Thus stress symptoms are the manifestation of a chronic state of responses to stress triggers that are actually benign. Even a thought can set off the same response mechanism that would be in play while standing in front of a hungry lion. Hence, Seyle’s definition still reaches to the heart of stress management; the idea of the response being inappropriate and engaging in a process of altering ones misperception of pending disaster or imminent danger.

  • Ty

    First name. Last name. Email address. Re-enter email address. All of that makes sense. Now what fool would give anyone their pass word? starting a facebook shouldnt be this difficult.

  • emil

    Better use facebook in moderation~