Students With Big Friend Lists Feel Stress

Recently social researchers from Edinburgh Napier University conducted a survey that which purpose was to find out the connection between the number of friends of a Facebook accountholder and his emotional state.

The results affirmed the preliminary speculations that people with the largest quantity of contacts on Facebook feel more stressed out by the website.

The research was carried out within the frame of university only. Over 200 students took part in it. Methods that were used are concentration on focus groups, online surveys and one-on-one interviews.

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. And we found it was actually those with the most contacts, those who had invested the most time in the site, who were the ones most likely to be stressed…It’s like being a mini news channel about yourself. The more people you have the more you feel there is an audience there. You are almost a mini celebrity and the bigger the audience the more pressure you feel to produce something about yourself… But many also told us they were anxious about withdrawing from the site for fear of missing important social information or offending contacts. 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.

According to outcomes of the research, about one out of ten respondents with the biggest numbers of “cyber-friends” feel worried and tense. The anxiety is connected with the adding of new friends or reaction to the proposition to be added. About 32 percent do not like receiving friend requests and consider their decline as sources of feeling of guilt and misery. 63 percent of the quizzes owned up to delay responding to these requests.

It would be great if such a research was conducted with representatives of some other demographic groups and included more people. It would also be interesting to know the average number of friends per person surveyed, and how big the largest ones were.

Dmitry Oreshko
Categories: Facebook Rumors.

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