Study: Mo’ Facebook Friends, Mo’ Problems

11.27.12 6 years ago 6 Comments

For some time now I’ve grappled with deleting my Facebook account because it’s a nuisance much more than it is a benefit to my life, and it’s not even close. Not all people are meant to exist in your life throughout the journey that is life. Some people — crazy relatives, horrible exes, people you went to school with who you no longer have anything in common with — are best left in the rearview mirror, but Facebook makes it harder for this to happen organically, while also making it easy for people you’ve long left in the rearview mirror to find you and force themselves back into your life.

In short, Facebook can be terrible, mainly because a lot of the people using it are awful and their awfulness adds stress to your life. I know this. You know this. And now we have a study handy to confirm it.

Reports All Facebook:

…A study from the University of Edinburgh Business School shows that (Facebook usage) can also lead to higher levels of stress, as users add more people. The simple reason is that as more people are added to a user’s social circle — friends, relatives, co-workers, classmates — there’s more of a chance for embarrassment or some other kind of faux pas.

The study gauged the feelings of more than 300 Facebook users, with an average age of 21. Researchers found that roughly 55 percent of parents follow their kids on Facebook. Additionally, more than one-half of employers claim to have not hired someone based on content posted on Facebook.

When users post content that may be acceptable to one social circle but not another (for example, college buddies might like a photo of you at a wild party, but don’t expect grandma or your supervisor to do the same), it raises the stress level as people try to present a palatable Facebook persona to all friends.

Ben Marder, The author of the report, Ben Marder, summed it all up pretty succinctly in a press conference announcing the study’s findings: “Facebook used to be like a great party for all your friends where you can dance, drink, and flirt. But now with your mum, dad, and boss there, the party becomes an anxious event full of potential social landmines.”

Thanks for ruining everything, Mark Zuckerberg!

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