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Why Facebook Is Stressing You Out

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | about a year and a half ago

Facebook 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Megan Garber writes that the more friends you have on Facebook — or, perhaps more accurately, the more "friends" you have on Facebook — the more stressed you're likely to be about actually having them because the wider your Facebook network, the more likely it is that something you say or do on the site will end up offending one of that network's members. The stress comes from the kind of personal versioning that is common in analog life — the fact that you (probably) behave slightly differently when you're with your mom than you do when you're with your boss, or with your boyfriend, or with your dentist. A study of over 300 Facebook users found that on average people are Facebook friends with seven different social circles. The most common group was friends who were known from offline environments (97 percent added them as friends online), followed by extended family (81 percent), siblings (80 percent), friends of friends (69 percent), and colleagues (65 percent). Those are, in the sociological sense, very different groups — groups that carry different (and unspoken-because-obvious) behavioral expectations. Per the study's survey "adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety." “Facebook's power, and its curse, is this holistic treatment of personhood,” writes Garber. “All the careful tailoring we do to ourselves (and to our selves) — to be, say, professional in one context and whimsical in the other — dissolves in the simmering singularity of the Facebook timeline.”"

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