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February 16, 2011

More Facebook friends equals more stress?

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by Darren Allan

Using Facebook, and more particularly having a numerous amount of friends on the social networking site, can be the cause of considerable stress.

That’s according to a study conducted by Edinburgh Napier University, led by Dr Kathy Charles, the UK Press Association reports.

The study found that 12% of respondents said that Facebook made them feel anxious, and a third admitted that refusing friend requests made them feel guilty and uncomfortable. However, this survey was only conducted over 200 people, so can be taken with a slight pinch of salt.

Dr Charles noted that she had also found Facebook could be more stressful for those with lots of friends, as they felt a pressure to keep updating their status with interesting events and happenings in their life (as opposed to “Ate a doughnut, yum!”).

She told the Press Association: “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.”

“It’s like being a mini news channel about yourself. The more people you have the more you feel there is an audience there. You are almost a mini celebrity and the bigger the audience the more pressure you feel to produce something about yourself.”

As her conclusion to a not-too-flattering overview of the social networking site, she also compared it to being at a gambling table. You might want to leave, but you’re afraid to do so in case something good is about to happen and you’ll miss out.

Except with Facebook, you’re not winning a fortune, but instead finding out that Jane has split up with Rob and chucked pink paint over his Mercedes. It was all Rob’s fault, though, he should never have gone to that strip bar…

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1 Comment »
  1. I agree completely! Especially about feeling guilty for not accepting - it’s not that I’m not their friend, but do I really want them to see everything I’m up to all the time? No!

    Comment by Scott Wilford — February 16, 2011 @ 4:33 pm

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