Facebook Causes Anxiety, Says Research
Research has found that the more friends a Facebook users has, the more anxiety the social network site can cause, reports BBC News.
A study carried out by Edinburgh Napier University looked at usage of the site and questioned 200 students. It found that a minority of users suffered from "considerable Facebook-related anxiety" brought on by feeling guilty when rejecting friend requests and the pressure to create new profile updates.
Those with the most friends were most stressed. Dr Kathy Charles, who led the study, said via BBC News: "It's like being a mini news channel about yourself. You are almost a mini celebrity and the bigger the audience, the more pressure you feel to produce something about yourself."
There was also a reluctance to withdraw from Facebook for fear of missing out on "important" social updates. "Like gambling," Charles says, "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."
In extreme cases of anxiety, a combination of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and hypnotherapy can prove effective. CBT in particular can focus on changing unhealthy behaviour and thoughts, such as rationalisations and false beliefs. It can help sufferers deal with real emotions and fight the urge to log on too frequently.