We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
80,259 News Articles

Lots of Facebook friends makes social networkers stressed

Psychologist likens social network to gambling

Having lots of friends on social network Facebook can make web users feel stressed, says researchers from the Edinburgh Napier University.

Research by psychologists at the university revealed nearly a third (32 percent) of social networkers experience feeling of guilt and discomfort when rejecting friend requests, while 63 percent delayed responsing to them and 10 percent admitted disliking recieivng friend requests.

According to Dr Kathy Charles, who headed up the research, "the results threw up a number of paradoxes."

"For instance, although there is great pressure to be on Facebook there is also considerable ambivalence amongst users about its benefits," she said.

"Our data suggests that there is a significant minority of users who experience considerable Facebook-related anxiety, with only very modest or tenuous rewards."

The research also highlighted that those with the most contacts of Facebook and those who had invested the most time in the site were the ones most likely to be stressed.

"An overwhelming majority of respondents reported that the best thing about Facebook was 'keeping in touch', often without any further explanation," said Charles.

"But many also told us they were anxious about withdrawing from the site for fear of missing important social information or offending contacts.

Charles likened the social network to gambling, saying: "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".

See also: How Facebook mucks up office life


IDG UK Sites

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact review: A better deal than the Z3 and most smartphones

IDG UK Sites

Why people aren't upgrading to iOS 8: new features are for power users, not the average Joe

IDG UK Sites

Framestore recreates ancient China for Mr Bean's martial arts misadventure

IDG UK Sites

iPad Air 2 review: Insanely fast and alarmingly thin. Speed tests, camera tests and more