Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stressed? Maybe You Should Avoid Facebook...

With a Facebook account come many decisions: should you approve or not approve that new friend request, should you like or not like your ex’s last status, and have you responded to that last message that your friend sent you? That’s a lot of decisions to make.

Well, a study has found that managing your Facebook account really leads to stress and anxiety. Some even go so far as to say that the negative psychological effects of Facebook outweigh the benefits that come with staying in touch with your friends through the social networking site.

The study found that there are a variety of different behaviors that come from the stress of managing your account including: delaying replying to friend requests (63 percent of those polled), feeling guilty for rejecting friend requests (32 percent), feeling anxious (12 percent) or disliking receiving friend requests (10 percent). There were other stresses that the study examined concerning getting rid of unwanted contacts, the pressures of being creative and entertaining, and using the appropriate types of etiquette with different “friends.”

The study also seemed to think that the more Facebook friends that a user has the more likely they are to feel stressed out by the site.

"The results threw up a number of paradoxes," said lead researcher Dr. Kathy Charles in a statement. "For instance, although there is great pressure to be on Facebook there is also considerable ambivalence amongst users about its benefits. "

"An overwhelming majority of respondents reported that the best thing about Facebook was 'keeping in touch,' often without any further explanation," she added. "But many also told us they were anxious about withdrawing from the site for fear of missing important social information or offending contacts."

So this whole Facebook study was conducted by a group of psychologists at Edinburgh Napier University. They gathered all of their information through a combination of focus groups, online surveys, and one-on-one interviews. They actually sat down and questioned about 200 students on their use of Facebook and then supplemented that information with research that they gathered from an online survey of 175 participants. The average age of those who were surveyed online was 30.4 years old.

I found this study fascinating. We all live stressful lives, so should we be doing something that is just going to be causing even more stress? I love Facebook. I’ll admit it, but I don’t need it to stress me out even more. That being said, even after examining the results of this study, I don’t think I can just give up Facebook. It’s definitely a very interesting study, but I don’t know if it’s going to cause any change in the use of Facebook.

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1 comment:

Sheron said...

I can believe this blog. It can be stressful trying to keep up with all your friends and family.