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Facebook makes you miserable, according to study

Posted by on 16/02/2011

A study conducted by Edinburgh Napier University has revealed that people with more friends actually end up being much more stressed out and miserable than those with less.

Sounds surprising? The obvious goal of Facebook has been to connect people across the globe, with it now crossing over 150 million active users. One paradox that baffled researchers was the link between elevated levels of anxiety with those who had much more friends than those with less contacts.

The survey of 200 people showed that 63% of users felt discomfort when they delayed acceptance of friend requests and 32% felt guilt when rejecting requests all together. A minor 10% also disliked receiving friend requests, which was a bit odd since the whole point of social networking was to connect with others.

Funny enough, those same users who experienced anxiety towards the service, also had withdrawal symptoms and simply couldn’t stand not keeping frequent checks on their Facebook pages.

“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.”

A final note mentioned that some users suggested that the survey’s calculations severely underestimated the harsh fact that users suffer quite a lot of stress and anxiety because of Facebook.

On a personal note, I personally don’t feel bad for rejecting or delaying requests. My policy is that “If I don’t know you, I won’t accept you.” However, I do admit to keeping regular tabs during the day via my mobile (because it’s blocked at work).

Coincidentally a recent survey done showed that users feel higher levels of depression due after seeing photos of their friends having a good time at parties and what not.

Facebook clearly is a powerful force in our lives and the fact alone that so many studies are being done on the effects of the service prove that it is very influential. The sad thing is that if Facebook continues its level of success, more and more users may see negative signs of depression, anxiety and anti-socialistic tendencies in the near future.

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  • erica

    im deleting my facebook.

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