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Number of Facebook Friends Linked To Anxiety 144

Hugh Pickens writes writes "WebProNews reports that according to a new survey, the more Facebook friends you have, the more likely you are to feel stressed out by the site. 'The results threw up a number of paradoxes,' says 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.' Causes of stress included deleting unwanted contacts, the pressure to be entertaining, and having to use appropriate etiquette for different types of friends. '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.'"
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Number of Facebook Friends Linked To Anxiety

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  • This just in: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hoytak ( 1148181 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @08:53PM (#35227154) Homepage

    Information overload and a vague sense of ill-defined obligation leads to stress...

    Really, any reason this is surprising?

  • durf (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:00PM (#35227220)

    if you do something a lot, it may start to feel like a burden, and it's likely to generate stress

  • Re:Absolutely. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vic-traill ( 1038742 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:03PM (#35227260)
    The moral of this story is - friends on Facebook shouldn't be professional relationships. That's what LinkedIn is for, if you must.
  • Re:This just in: (Score:4, Insightful)

    by c0lo ( 1497653 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @09:13PM (#35227348)

    What does it say when I have only 24 facebook friends and I'm still stressed out by all the "noise".

    That you are masochistic enough to stay in a situation nobody forced you in?

  • by djlowe ( 41723 ) * on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @10:11PM (#35227680)
    Fortunately, for me, I've never bought into the whole idea of "social networks", and here's why: I don't view them as anything useful to me, as they exist now. Facebook, MySpace, etc.? Just an attempt to monetize the 'net, in the guise of making interpersonal communications "easy". And that's OK, for those of my friends that deem it useful, etc. But, I'm not buying into it, ever. Me? I'm an "old fart" - when a friend asks me to join them on such, my reply is this: "You have my personal email address, which I only give to friends. You have, in addition, my home phone number, my personal cell phone number as well. These suffice for you to contact me, whenever you wish, knowing that I WILL respond to them, because you are my friend. I have no need, nor desire, to publish the details of my life on sites that will only abuse such, nor do I wish to follow your life in excruciating detail on such beyond our interactions. It's not that I don't care, mind you, it's only that, as a friend of yours, I think I'm entitled to learn things affecting your life, your real life, in something more than posts, etc., but, I refuse to let social networks replace real life communication with my friends, as it appears to me that is
  • It's not just individuals. Same story goes for businesses.

    A lot of the people on facebook are there trying to promote some business or other. The sad part is, if you add up all the time invested, you see that the return is ALWAYS negative. Unless you already have a brand, you're not going to "create a brand" on facebook. So you have all these self-proclaimed "social media gurus" generally claiming that they can "promote your brand", and people buy into it because, just like individuals, they're afraid that if they don't, they'll miss something. "Everyone else is doing it, so it must be working for them ..."

    Of course, the only thing they're missing is that It's all thin gruel.

    If you're a business, you WANT your competitors to be investing time and energy in facebook. Not only does it make it easy to "stalk" your competition, but the time and money they're wasting there are resources diverted from elsewhere.

  • Re:This just in: (Score:5, Insightful)

    by causality ( 777677 ) on Wednesday February 16, 2011 @10:49PM (#35227934)

    What does it say when I have only 24 facebook friends and I'm still stressed out by all the "noise".

    That you are masochistic enough to stay in a situation nobody forced you in?

    I have rarely and almost never observed actual masochism. What I usually witness instead is a mentality that thinks like this: "if I jump through the hoops and pay the price then maybe I'll get something I want." The difference of course is that, by definition, a real masochist isn't doing it out of hope for some reward or the achievement of some goal.

    For as long as Facebook stories have appeared on Slashdot, I have said that the desire for the attention and evaluation of casual strangers is unhealthy. It's one of those "to fill a void" type of desires that is not natural; it's a response to the kind of sense of alienation of which Erich Fromm gives such a great description. It's one of those things where one must be careful to retain one's sense and objectivity, otherwise it is easy to mistake the increasing status of "common" with any sense of "normal". When something is being done not because it is voluntary and considered a joy, but out of some sense of desperation and unhealthy desire for attention, of course stress and anxiety is going to scale up with increasing involvement.

    How could it work any other way? It's not a matter of whether anyone is forcing anyone -- clearly that is not the case. It's a matter of well-intentioned but thoroughly misguided compensatory problem-solving.

I was playing poker the other night... with Tarot cards. I got a full house and 4 people died. -- Steven Wright