Social Anxiety Lurks Online with Facebook

If you’re suffering from paruresis, you already know how anxiety can come from being around other people. But you may not know that anxiety can also stem from lots of people you are linked to online, namely those known as your Facebook friends.

A University of Edinburgh Business School study made the less-than-delightful discovery that having gads of friends on Facebook can lead to gads of stress and anxiety. The reason, if you think about it, makes sense.

The more friends you have on Facebook, the greater your chances of offending one of them or making a total jerk of yourself, which can lead to more drastic consequences, such as loss of your family’s respect oreven your job.

This holds especially true if you’re the type who befriends your parents, spouse, family members, coworkers, and bosses. Post something raunchy or tasteless and there goes your promotion, or your very livelihood. Keeping an eye on the people you connect to can play a part in reducing your stress, as can refraining from posting those drunk photos of you last weekend.

Researchers found that on average people are Facebook friends with seven different social circles. They were:

  • 97 percent: friends known offline
  • 81 percent: extended family
  • 80 percent: siblings
  • 69 percent: friends of friends
  • 65 percent: colleagues

The study also found, perhaps surprisingly, only about 33 percent of those surveyed used the privacy settings that filters specific items from eyes that may not appreciate seeing them.

Read the full article at Science Daily: