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Number of Facebook Friends Linked To Anxiety

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the more-friends-more-problems dept.

Facebook 144

Hugh Pickens writes writes "WebProNews reports that according to a new survey, the more Facebook friends you have, the more likely you are to feel stressed out by the site. 'The results threw up a number of paradoxes,' says Dr Kathy Charles, who led the study. 'For instance, although there is great pressure to be on Facebook there is also considerable ambivalence amongst users about its benefits.' Causes of stress included deleting unwanted contacts, the pressure to be entertaining, and having to use appropriate etiquette for different types of friends. '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.'"

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This just in: (4, Insightful)

hoytak (1148181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227154)

Information overload and a vague sense of ill-defined obligation leads to stress...

Really, any reason this is surprising?

Re:This just in: (1)

kwabbles (259554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227194)

There's also the stress of having your sancha let the cat out of the box in an angry tirade readable by your saintly grandmother and your judgmental next door neighbor.

Re:This just in: (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227574)

There's also the stress of having your sancha let the cat out of the box in an angry tirade readable by your saintly grandmother and your judgmental next door neighbor.

This cat. Is it alive or dead?

Re:This just in: (5, Funny)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227614)

This cat. Is it alive or dead?

Yes.

Re:This just in: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227648)

Are you absolutely uncertain?

Re:This just in: (1)

RooftopActivity (1991792) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227750)

I don't know, I accidently my cat.

Re:This just in: (1)

underqualified (1318035) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227838)

It is both alive and dead.

Re:This just in: (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227204)

But all the sex I get from it compensate for the stressful life facebook gave me.

Re:This just in: (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227258)

What does it say when I have only 24 facebook friends and I'm still stressed out by all the "noise".

Re:This just in: (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227296)

Either that you need quieter friends, you're autistic, or both?

Re:This just in: (3, Insightful)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227348)

What does it say when I have only 24 facebook friends and I'm still stressed out by all the "noise".

That you are masochistic enough to stay in a situation nobody forced you in?

Re:This just in: (5, Insightful)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227934)

What does it say when I have only 24 facebook friends and I'm still stressed out by all the "noise".

That you are masochistic enough to stay in a situation nobody forced you in?

I have rarely and almost never observed actual masochism. What I usually witness instead is a mentality that thinks like this: "if I jump through the hoops and pay the price then maybe I'll get something I want." The difference of course is that, by definition, a real masochist isn't doing it out of hope for some reward or the achievement of some goal.

For as long as Facebook stories have appeared on Slashdot, I have said that the desire for the attention and evaluation of casual strangers is unhealthy. It's one of those "to fill a void" type of desires that is not natural; it's a response to the kind of sense of alienation of which Erich Fromm gives such a great description. It's one of those things where one must be careful to retain one's sense and objectivity, otherwise it is easy to mistake the increasing status of "common" with any sense of "normal". When something is being done not because it is voluntary and considered a joy, but out of some sense of desperation and unhealthy desire for attention, of course stress and anxiety is going to scale up with increasing involvement.

How could it work any other way? It's not a matter of whether anyone is forcing anyone -- clearly that is not the case. It's a matter of well-intentioned but thoroughly misguided compensatory problem-solving.

Re:This just in: (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228468)

It's one of those "to fill a void" type of desires that is not natural; it's a response to the kind of sense of alienation of which Erich Fromm gives such a great description... When something is being done not because it is voluntary and considered a joy, but out of some sense of desperation and unhealthy desire for attention, of course stress and anxiety is going to scale up with increasing involvement.

How could it work any other way? It's not a matter of whether anyone is forcing anyone -- clearly that is not the case. It's a matter of well-intentioned but thoroughly misguided compensatory problem-solving.

Interesting.
Seems to me you argue that the "having friends on FB" is not the cause of an eventual stress but a retribution of one's misguided attempts to escape other types of stress (in the context of TFA, a correlation between too-many-FB-friends/anxiety due of a common cause rather then causation).

Re:This just in: (1)

elfprince13 (1521333) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227468)

What does it say that I have (literally) 50 times more Facebook friends than you and I'm not stressed out at all?

Re:This just in: (1)

causality (777677) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227944)

What does it say that I have (literally) 50 times more Facebook friends than you and I'm not stressed out at all?

It says that you genuinely enjoy using Facebook and are not using it to make up for a deeper dissatisfaction with what you do and don't have in your life.

That or you're in a hell of a lot of denial, but it's not my place to tell you which is true. In the absence of any strong evidence either way, I'm inclined to believe the former, for what it's worth.

Re:This just in: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228310)

How about "Look at me I'm an attention whore!!!"

Re:This just in: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228386)

That you're a social butterfly.

Re:This just in: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35229726)

It says that you have confused the definition of "friend" with that of "acquaintance".

To how many of those 300 "friends" would you give your house key?

Re:This just in: (1)

nzap (1985014) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227642)

Your situation says nothing. The study doesn't show "You have anxiety iff (for the uninitiated, read: 'if and only if') you have a large number of Facebook friends". But I guess it's been discussed a million times on slashdot about anecdotes and interpreting studies and nothings going to change.

Re:This just in: (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228990)

That you haven't discovered that you can kill the messages from the apps they use.

Re:This just in: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228620)

They also didn't mention, since it's such a taboo, that the hotter you are the more likely you are to experience this mentioned stress. lol

Like Slashdot (5, Funny)

dwarfsoft (461760) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227156)

"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"

Just like slashdot. Been here for years and I'm still waiting ;)

Re:Like Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35229118)

Funny? This is downright insightful!

anxious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227160)

I'd post first but im too scared...

Absolutely. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227162)

Especially at Valentine's day unless everything is very traditional and normal.

And then there are groups of friends who do not get along but share you.

I find it stressful.

Debating whether to withdraw or not. It doesn't seem to be providing a lot of benefit.

Re:Absolutely. (1)

MightyMait (787428) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227212)

I can relate. A good many of my friends are co-religionists, many of whom I've never met. Others are friends from college, few of whom are very religious. Consequently, I find myself not wanting to be too religious for fear of offending the secular folks and afraid of being too worldly for fear of appearing less devout to the religious. So, I end up lurking mostly (and also because I'm friends on facebook with my boss and don't want her to think I'm spending all day on the site).

Re:Absolutely. (4, Insightful)

vic-traill (1038742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227260)

The moral of this story is - friends on Facebook shouldn't be professional relationships. That's what LinkedIn is for, if you must.

Re:Absolutely. (2)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227334)

The moral of this story is - friends on Facebook shouldn't be professional relationships. That's what LinkedIn is for, if you must.

Absolutely. All current work contacts are slightly limited in that they can't see my wall (by default) nor past mobile pics. I still post things (like links) with permissive permissions sometimes, but they're definitely limited in what they see. After we're no longer colleagues, I remove their restriction and we can be "real" friends. Works well for me.

LinkedIn is for professional contacts. My bosses and their bosses are on there.

Re:Absolutely. (1)

Kashgarinn (1036758) | more than 3 years ago | (#35229738)

Or, deal with facebook same as LinkedIn, i.e. it's all professional relationships.

That way, even though you're commenting on a friends link, you won't go overboard, and any decisions whether to comment or not will be done conservatively so you won't be looked at as an immature retard.

That might help you in the future, if someone decides to look you up on facebook from your new workplace after you friended him/her.

Re:Absolutely. (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228530)

This is not a plate spinning contest. Just be yourself and if they can't handle it, then let them unfriend you.

Generally a poor investment of time / echo chamber (3, Insightful)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227684)

It's not just individuals. Same story goes for businesses.

A lot of the people on facebook are there trying to promote some business or other. The sad part is, if you add up all the time invested, you see that the return is ALWAYS negative. Unless you already have a brand, you're not going to "create a brand" on facebook. So you have all these self-proclaimed "social media gurus" generally claiming that they can "promote your brand", and people buy into it because, just like individuals, they're afraid that if they don't, they'll miss something. "Everyone else is doing it, so it must be working for them ..."

Of course, the only thing they're missing is that It's all thin gruel.

If you're a business, you WANT your competitors to be investing time and energy in facebook. Not only does it make it easy to "stalk" your competition, but the time and money they're wasting there are resources diverted from elsewhere.

Re:Generally a poor investment of time / echo cham (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35229394)

What about facebook as a platform? (ie. Zinga) At least someone is making a killing on facebook...

deh (0, Redundant)

Soilworker (795251) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227166)

...People are stressed over facebook ? ...

Re:deh (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227382)

Probably because they didn't know how to make their profile private and unsearchable so now they are getting friend requests from their bosses, family members etc... You really can't be yourself around them usually and a lot of people get fired over saying silly things like that one thing on the news today "teacher gets suspended over saying that some of her students are lazy whiners on her blog". lol, it is amazing how easy it is to get fired or suspended these days over trivial matter.

Re:deh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227820)

If a person's life is so disjointed, has so many things that must be hidden because they're illegal/anti-social/will_make_important_people_in_their_life_think_badly_of_them, there is something really wrong with their value system and/or morals. They need to re-evaluate their lives and make the changes necessary so they aren't living two lives and have nothing to be ashamed of in their life. The real cause of their stress is that they don't live the kind of life they know they should be.

Re:deh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227984)

Wow. How fucking boring your life must be. Seriously. If your sex life is non-existant enough to share with your parents, you're not doing it right.

Re:deh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228764)

If you're sharing your sex life on Facebook, you have serious psychological problems. Get your head screwed on straight. Exhibitionism isn't psychologically healthy behavior.

Wow... (3, Informative)

RobertM1968 (951074) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227172)

I dont find the amount of FB friends I have stressful, nor do I find deleting any of them stressful. I think people need to start reconnecting with the real world if they suffer stress from such things. Then again, the real world is a lot more stressful... maybe they should keep wasting their time on FB worrying about such "stressful" things - it's a lot less stress than the real world nowadays.

Sheesh (1)

Xaemyl (88001) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227184)

According to a new survey!? This has been going on as long as humans have been around (hello, social creatures?). This is nothing new, and certainly not limited to Facebook.

Re:Sheesh (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228040)

I guess I'm not social. Just hate everyone, and everything. Especially everything related to facebook, which of course means that I need to now make an account, just to tell them how much I hate them.

Oh son of a...

FTFY (1)

owlman17 (871857) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227214)

...the more Slashdot friends you have, the more likely you are to feel stressed out by the site.

Re:FTFY (1)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227250)

wait slashdot has a friends feature? what the heck for?

Re:FTFY (2)

camperdave (969942) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228590)

Yes, Slashdot has a friends feature. You access it through the little bubble icon beside the user ID in the header of a comment. You can flag a person as a friend, neutral, or as a foe. If someone marks you as a friend, they show up in your fans list. If someone marks you as a foe, they show up in your freaks list.

The reason for having the friends feature is so that you can bump up (or down) someone's comment score. Suppose you were a crochet hobbyist, and while reading Slashdot, you notice somebody making a crochet analogy. You could flag that person as a friend, and when your fellow "hooker" posted a comment it would be automatically modded up. Similarly, you could flag a needlepointer as a foe, because even with a straight needle they still miss the point. They would be automatically modded down.

Re:FTFY (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227252)

Its cool, dude. I have no friends here.

Re:FTFY (1)

jappleng (1805148) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227394)

I would change our relationship status up to the next level but I'm too scared on what might happen if I keep our status to "It's complicated" instead of "just friends" because once it's been changed, everyone will see it =(

Re:FTFY (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227930)

+1 if you like Japanese "victorian" maids :3

Do I get a +2 if I take them in pairs?

You have ME :D (1)

tkprit (8581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227844)

srsly, I started using that 'friend' button w/ people I agree with a lot so their posts sorta stand out (I read at -1 so sometimes there's a lot of crap to slog through, although curiously those posts aren't the low numbers but the higher ones). Heh, your name is enough reason to get that big green emerald on your posts.

Re:You have ME :D (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227988)

I feel my anxiety level going up :-O

You mean to tell me that I've been hiding in my mother''s basement for 30 years for nothing?

Re:FTFY (1)

lennier (44736) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228546)

Its cool, dude. I have no friends here.

Only foes you have already met?

Re:FTFY (2)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227744)

...the more Slashdot friends you have, the more likely you are to feel stressed out by the site.

Lets see, more than 100 freaks, more than 500 friends ... but they don't cause me stress. For most of us, it's more likely the b0rkenst0cked-out perl code and "site redesigns" that break things on a regular basis that are good for getting the natives restless ...

That and "come on guys, can't you at least proof-read a teeny tiny bit before posting the next story?" At least the number of dupes, trifectas (and even posting the same story SIX times the same week) seem to be down ...

Re:FTFY (1)

DiegoBravo (324012) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228082)

It would be interesting to search for a correlation between /. karma and stress. Maybe that was a reason for dropping the karma score...

Re:FTFY (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228254)

FWIW, I check the social aspects of Slashdot every few months or so. Whatever. Say what you will about the changes to Slashdot, but they integrated those social features long before it was a household word. They also did it in such a way that you can just ignore it. If it were something other than a bolt-on, it might be more important. Then again, that's not how Slashdot started, and it wasn't really hurting before all that came to pass. It would have been foolish to trash the whole focus of Slashdot (the articles and comments) and jump on some bandwagon because of a perceived threat. It'd be almost as stupid as changing a nice clean interface for the same reason CoughGoogleImageSearchCough.

durf (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227220)

if you do something a lot, it may start to feel like a burden, and it's likely to generate stress

Scientific Research Run Amok... (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227244)

I generally support just about any kind of scientific work, but I really don't see the value in studying how people use facebook. We all know it is for the most part a tremendous waste of time; I'm not sure what we have to gain by looking into how people use it.

Re:Scientific Research Run Amok... (5, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227306)

but I really don't see the value in studying how people use facebook.

Its an experiment in behavioral psychology. One where the rat gets a shock no matter which lever it presses.

Re:Scientific Research Run Amok... (3, Interesting)

Etcetera (14711) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227372)

I generally support just about any kind of scientific work, but I really don't see the value in studying how people use facebook. We all know it is for the most part a tremendous waste of time; I'm not sure what we have to gain by looking into how people use it.

I don't know if I'd say that. I have a lot of FB friends, about 80-90% of whom I've met in person at one point or another (I travel a lot and meet a lot of people, plus former classmates and colleagues, and people I'm attempting to connect with for the first time that I *should* know... Alumni from a group that I'm the Alumni outreach coordinator for).

Facebook in particular, and social networking in general, is the most efficient way known to man to maintain contact and a semblance of a relationship to a large number of people at once in a back-and-forth, interactive manner.

It's a time-waster if you sit there and just play social network games on it (Skinner Boxes). For the most part, I don't. I'm keeping up with the feed, commenting, liking, sharing, and re-posting. (It also helps that I have a job where I can keep a FB window open all day in-between other activities.

Maybe I just have more interesting friends than you? Or would otherwise work harder at keeping up with them? Don't know... But FB isn't a "tremendous waste of time" for me.

Re:Scientific Research Run Amok... (2)

aethogamous (935390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227518)

For starters it is a very convenient laboratory to test social networking theories. Do current theories about social networks in the real world apply in the virtual world? What aspects of virtual social networks apply to the real world? Theories about those aspects that do apply can potentially be tested much more easily in the virtual world than the real world.

It's a great place to make predictions, for example, about anxiety. Do we know how social networks effect our health? Good place to try and differentiate between effects of face-to-face contact and friendship.

What can virtual social networks tell us about the real world? Can they be used to predict disease outbreaks?

People studying facebook for these kinds of things are usually not interested in facebook, but rather using it because it is a convenient way to examine social networks. Kind of like examining Drosophila in biology.

There is a simple solution: (1)

Rhodri Mawr (862554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227318)

Either delete your account, or better still take my approach and don't sign up in the first place.
After all, what's wrong with being a hermit?

What Pressure? (1)

lopaka1998 (1352441) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227420)

"although there is great pressure to be on Facebook" Um... since when? I still don't use it and probably never will. Who has the time for it? Slashdot on the other hand... oh crap!

100% correlation (3, Funny)

joeyblades (785896) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227466)

I have zero Facebook friends and zero stress about it. QED

Re:100% correlation (4, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227754)

I have zero Facebook friends and zero stress about it. QED

I have you beat! I have zero friends. Period! ;-)

Re:100% correlation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35229002)

Livn' at home with my mom, got no friends (deleted Tom).

Delete (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227474)

It became clear to me last year that 99% of facebook posts are absolute drivel. Facebook functionality could be used to define the word unutile. I went from daily check in's last summer, which slowed eventually to once a month. I deactivated my account in December.

I'm ditching my HTC desire because you can't uninstall facebook app unless I root it.

For all the facebook lovers out there I can only say that I feel really sorry for you.

hello everybody (1)

denaircompressor (1997946) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227480)

i'm a new commer

Re:hello everybody (1)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227562)

are you stressed ? If you are I can mark you as foe !

Re:hello everybody (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228186)

i'm a new commer

You must be new here.

No Facebook friends (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227514)

I never have any stress because I don't have Facebook.

Real life (1)

nolife (233813) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227536)

Substitute "real life groups of friends you hang out with in person" and "Facebook friends" and you have the same exact problems and anxieties.

I hope no one actually paid to conduct or review the results of that survey.

Re:Real life (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228606)

I can't understand how having more friends in real life would somehow be more stressful, unless some of them are difficult to deal with, in which case, who needs them. I have a relatively small number of friends, and I spend time with them on a weekly basis or less, but I never stress out over what they might be thinking about me, whether I have sufficiently updated them on what I am doing or any of that silliness. Maybe in Junior High, but not now.

Just like any other abusive relationship(s) (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227554)

Like the subject says. No real paradoxes in there.

The prob is real friends who have no pics (2)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227572)

I have about 100 FB friend requests and the main prob is that a number, especially women, who I do in fact know, don't post pics or send an FR but don't have enuf info on the wall to be able to tell if it's really them or what.

And some recent local events made it so I didn't really want certain friends who weren't already FB friends to know what I was doing in the newsfeed until after I defeated their tunnel, so I left them in Pending status.

Then you get the spam fake ones and since I'm kind of known on the Net, I can't tell if they're real (and my other friends got suckered into approving the FR) or just know "of me" - I get fans in Canada and Japan and so on, which is really puzzling.

I hope FB dies soon so I can start fresh.

Facebook needs low mods like /. (2)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227636)

Thinking that people pay attention to what I'm writing might give me enormous stress. I try to stay at 1:, never above 2: Anyone who reads below 2: doesn't matter anyway.

Fortunately, for me (4, Insightful)

djlowe (41723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227680)

Fortunately, for me, I've never bought into the whole idea of "social networks", and here's why: I don't view them as anything useful to me, as they exist now. Facebook, MySpace, etc.? Just an attempt to monetize the 'net, in the guise of making interpersonal communications "easy". And that's OK, for those of my friends that deem it useful, etc. But, I'm not buying into it, ever. Me? I'm an "old fart" - when a friend asks me to join them on such, my reply is this: "You have my personal email address, which I only give to friends. You have, in addition, my home phone number, my personal cell phone number as well. These suffice for you to contact me, whenever you wish, knowing that I WILL respond to them, because you are my friend. I have no need, nor desire, to publish the details of my life on sites that will only abuse such, nor do I wish to follow your life in excruciating detail on such beyond our interactions. It's not that I don't care, mind you, it's only that, as a friend of yours, I think I'm entitled to learn things affecting your life, your real life, in something more than posts, etc., but, I refuse to let social networks replace real life communication with my friends, as it appears to me that is

Re:Fortunately, for me (3)

djlowe (41723) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227708)

Clicked submit, by mistake. Here's the rest: "I refuse to let social networks replace real life communication with my friends, as it appears to me that is the "cheap" way out: All one has to do is post a Facebook update, for example, and that replaces any need to really talk to your friends, even when that's what you need."

Re:Fortunately, for me (1)

jc2brown (1997958) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227794)

But then how do you play Farmville?

Re:Fortunately, for me (1)

vlueboy (1799360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228224)

But then how do you play Farmville?

Funny off-topic. But on a similar vein, I've been trying to find a Microsoft tag [microsoft.com] (colorful triangle-barcodes) decoder, and it is a web-enabled-smartphone-only commodity.

Windows didn't get the decoder, and our perfectly good digital cameras go unused for "encoded" hyperlinks advertised on local newspapers. Heck, the MS page shows a train station advertising schedules and they assume even New York tourists in that lower-Manhattan area must have access to expensive phones with data plans. What gives?

Re:Fortunately, for me (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228230)

Towering backyard 'oregano' plants that smell strangely of skunk. Same as last year.

Re:Fortunately, for me (2)

ckhorne (940312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35229114)

> I refuse to let social networks replace real life communication with my friends

Maybe it's because you're an "old fart," or maybe it's because you're resistant to change, but either way, you're missing the point of social networks. They ARE real-life communications with friends. Social networks are simply the next iteration of social change. I'm sure some long. drawn out extrapolation could be created, showing how technology changes communications. People said that the telegraph would destroy written communications. Or remember how ridiculous cell phones were just 20 years ago? The way that a culture communicates changes, and Facebook is simply a large manifestation of change.

You're a member of slashdot. Why? Surely if you wanted people to communicate with you, you could give them your personal email address? Slashdot is a social network, just like Facebook, but with a certain focus group and a certain topic.

You also seem to think that by being part of a social network, you're walking around naked, for all the world to see, and all your thoughts, good or bad, are splayed out for the world to mock mercilessly. But aside from a few security concerns that tend to make headlines, all the content that's available online is what you put online. Nothing more. Just as I would be mindful of what I said in certain situations, I'm mindful to what I say in any social network.

I was resistant to the Facebook movement, and I'm still not nearly as active as many people I know (I logon about once every 2-3 days), but I see and understand the value. It's real communication with real people; people who aren't involved are seen as old fogies or luddites, scared of this whole "internets thing." In the end, it's what you make it, but understand that it's happening with or without you...

Re:Fortunately, for me (1)

snotclot (836055) | more than 3 years ago | (#35229404)

I agree however you forget that Facebook has reached the point where even regular users don't share actual relevant life-updates, thoughts, etc, precisely because they have seen the pitfalls of others who do so (and seen how Facebook eats your privacy and backstabs you).

Thus, you are seeing the effect of people posting less and less useful, actual updates, and mostly just using the service as a photo update. Occasional status updates such as "I was here in ___" and "oh its raining i hate it" is about all I see nowadays. This might not hold true for the blue-collar folks who joined recently but for the upper educated class this is the trend.

Facebook Anxiety (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227688)

Seriously. I have NO FACEFu#*. No add. No De-friend. Period. Remember all U FB's: ONE RING TO BIND THEM.

So it's just like it is with real life friends (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227762)

So it's just like it is with real life friends then.

Madge said it best. (1)

xactuary (746078) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227824)

Bad Karma? You're soaking in it!

Unless you're just collecting "friends" for games (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227854)

I know who my "real" friends are on Facebook, and they're the only ones I pay close attention to (e.g. visit their pages.)

Then there are the couple hundred who share a cause. They post some interesting stuff and news articles for my feed.

And then there are another few hundred who were collected just to play that stupid "Mafia Wars" game. If I could know the difference between those who share a cause and those who were approved for the game, I'd get rid of the game "friends."

Unless you've got major self-esteem issues, I can't imagine collecting "friends" just to have a high friend count. And given the kind of drek most people post to their status, I just don't see how those virtual "friends" could possibly be satisfying.

Re:Unless you're just collecting "friends" for gam (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228042)

There's a function called "lists" that you can use to organize (classify?) your contacts.

Well in that case... (0)

cg88 (1084597) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227864)

...I wonder how anxious CmdrTaco feels? https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/6ICg2f254mr_jhZwAj3e9g?feat=directlink [google.com]

Re:Well in that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35227908)

Why would you link to an image, of the post...

Re:Well in that case... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228772)

At least he didn't post a link to an image that contains the URL that one must hand-type in order to see the image he captured of the post.

Not number of facebook friends (1)

tkprit (8581) | more than 3 years ago | (#35227886)

but number of fb profiles that cause stress. keeping all those profiles in order, remembering what nationality you are, etc can be a real pita.

Reduce your Facebook stress (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228122)

Here's a quick and easy way to pare down your friends list on Facebook:

"Hey, guys, I'm moving next month. Could any of you help me?"

Cut out anyone who ignores the request or doesn't give a reasonable excuse. Enjoy your friends list that's gone from three digits to nearly one!

Yet another good reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228128)

To avoid Facebook like the plague.

As if you needed another reason.

Seriously, I was talking with a friend, he was praising Facebook and how it was a free-market success, that the gov't not being involved was why.

I told him...I'd rather the whole website be shut down and banned, as they intruded on people's freedom and privacy in ways that would make even the Gestapo envious.

Correlation not causation (3, Interesting)

517714 (762276) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228296)

The study does not establish causation, it finds a correlation. Without a control group it is not possible to make the conclusions stated in the article. The hypothesis is stated as a conclusion. Interesting, but flawed.

Re:Correlation not causation (1)

Eightbitgnosis (1571875) | more than 3 years ago | (#35229176)

It's all part of the new Scientificish Method

I would have thought the opposite. (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#35228424)

Because I heard about this one kid who didn't have a single facebook friend in the world.

Discussed 60 years ago by David Riesman (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35228498)

In his book The Lonely Crowd, Riesman postulated the existence of personality types whose sense of right and wrong developed in a way that was correlated with societal type. These personality types were distinguished based on how their sense of right and wrong developed.

In a relatively simple, pre-industrial society, individuals were "outer-directed"--they developed their sense of right and wrong from long established traditions. They thus felt *shame* when they deviated from society's expected ways of behaving.

In more advanced societies, the "inner-directed" individual developed. Competing traditions made it difficult to follow a single set of cultural rules and socialization via primary relations such as family became more important. These individuals thus had to develop an inner "gyroscope" to help them determine the expected ways of behaving. These individuals felt *guilt* when they failed to conform to their own expectations.

Lastly, in modern societies, the "other-directed" individual developed. This personality type strives to be liked, not necessarily respected. In order to gain approval of their friends, coworkers, and bosses, they strive to learn their interests/hobbies/political leanings etc. so that they may share them and become more likable.

Now for the relation to TFA--other-directed individuals feel a sense of *anxiety*. The constant desire to be liked and esteemed via developing similar interests means you have to constantly be in tune with what other people are thinking and doing. Facebook amplifies our ability to seek out and mimic the hivemind of our friends. That this may cause anxiety isn't a "paradox" as implied by the researchers--its a phenomenon suggested over sixty years ago by a sociologist.

Wow, now that /. agrees on the survey... (1)

Isaac Remuant (1891806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35229206)

No one questions the validity of it....

relevant paragraph:

"Psychologists from Edinburgh Napier University surveyed 200 students on their use of Facebook, and found that a for a significant number of users the negative effect of the social network outweighed the benefits of staying in touch with friends and family. "

Apparently, if you agree with something there's no need to analyze where did it come from. The conclusions per se are interesting but many are debatable and might vary greatly if we switch the social frame of the users.

TFA didn't even feel necessary to put this [napier.ac.uk] :

FURTHER NOTES:

  Informal focus groups were conducted using opportunity sampling of third year psychology and social science students. The three groups comprised seven students.

  The online survey attracted 175 participants of which 127 (72.6%) were female and 48 (27.4%) male. The mean age of the sample was 30.4 years (SD = 10.3, range 18 to 62) with four participants not disclosing their age.

  Five participants (two male) participated in semi-structured interviews on their use of Facebook. They were drawn from a subset of the survey sample who indicated their willingness to be interviewed.

Isn't it possible to argue that students related to the subject might be more prone to over analyzing and over thinking these situations? Or maybe they're more likely to answer truthfully?

Anyway, Too small, too specific sample to end up with arguable conclusions.

A feeding ground for egos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35229500)

All these social networks seem to be nothing more than some big huge buffet for peoples egos. Constant stalking, gossip, all this crap doing nothing creative or productive, blah blah blah...

Unwanted contacts? I accept everyone. (1)

cerberusss (660701) | more than 3 years ago | (#35229546)

Causes of stress included deleting unwanted contacts

The cool thing about Facebook is the fine-grained control you have over posts. It's possible to create lists of friends, and then by default exclude them, or vice versa exclusively post to a certain list.

so WTF is my problem? (1)

milkmage (795746) | more than 3 years ago | (#35229638)

I have an account, but haven't logged in in... well, I can't even remember when.

I deleted my account (1)

frenchbedroom (936100) | more than 3 years ago | (#35229740)

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.

I signed up on Facebook, added some friends, went through all the privacy / apps settings to lock everything down and... nothing interesting happened. I deleted my account and nobody asked me why. If my friends have something really important to say to me, I expect them to tell me face-to-face, on the phone, by email, or using our private message board, in that order. Facebook is just for progress-bar-filling-games and boring personality/trivia tests.

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