Does Having More Facebook Friends Equal More Stress?

Facebook has made the user experience extremely problematic over the last few years with the infamous “timeline” addition, its ever-changing privacy settings and now, couples’ pages. But if you’ve got plenty of Facebook friends, your own personal user experience will likely stress you out.

According to a survey of 300 Facebook users by the University of Edinburgh Business School, those who add more people to their social circles will likely see the social media site as a source of stress. The more friends they add — especially if it’s their parents or their boss — the higher the chance of making a faux pas or an embarrassing post.

The author of the report, Ben Marder, summed up why Facebook can be a problem for users with so many friends in a press release: “Facebook used to be like a great party for all your friends where you can dance, drink and flirt. But now with your mum, dad and boss there the party becomes an anxious event full of potential social landmines.”

Report researchers cited that those surveyed have friends in seven different social circles. Some of the more prominent circles include friends known offline (97%), extended family (81%), siblings (80%), friends of friends (69%) and work colleagues (65%).

An interesting statistic that points to Facebook being more stressful and awkward for younger users is that 55% of parents friend their children on Facebook. An even more awkward statistic in the report points out that 64% of Facebook users are still friends with their exes while only 56% of those surveyed are Facebook friends with their lovers.

Facebook has been trying to “improve” their site to the point that everyone will want to share everything at the drop of the hat. When you make friends on Facebook, you have different ideas of what you expect from the people who follow you. What may be an innocuous joke or night out with the girls to you may be a reason for your mother to embarrass you, or worse, a pink slip from your boss who’s also your Facebook friend.

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