In a new study, researchers found that people with the most cyber friends are prone to anxiety and stress, according to a study by psychologists at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland.
After surveying 200 students at the university, the experts found that the 12 percent of participants who are stressed out with Facebook had an average of 117 friends, while the other 88 percent of participants had an average of 75 friends. More friends meant more to worry about—they reported stressing about “un-friending” unwanted Facebook contacts and whether or not their online persona was entertaining enough for a cohort of followers.
And anxiety isn’t the only negative emotion Facebook triggers. Sixty-three percent of people report delaying responses to friend requests, 32 percent said rejecting friend requests triggered feelings of guilt and 10 percent admitting to disliking friend requests all together.
Despite the fact that Facebook sometimes elicits more stress than benefits, researchers found that most Facebook junkies are afraid to cut off ties with the site for fear of being out of the loop. “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,” said lead researcher Kathy Charles, Ph.D.