A new report by the University of Edinburgh Business School in the U.K. finds that having more Facebook friends leads to a more stressful life. Why? Well, basically, having such a diverse network of friends and family members in one place drastically increases the chance that your status updates will offend someone. Thus the process of crafting a post becomes stressful. The more people in your network, the worse the problem. Think of the old Facebook as a party with you and your closest friends. Now think of the new Facebook as a party with you and your closest friends and thirty random people you went to high school with and your mom. Voila. From The Atlantic:
The stress comes, [author Ben] Marder theorizes, from the kind of personal versioning that is so 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. And it comes, even more specifically, from the social nuance of that versioning behavior colliding with the blunt social platform that is The Facebook. Behaviors like swearing and drinking and smoking, the study suggests, are behaviors that you (might) do with friends -- but not (probably) with your boss.
Unsurprisingly… "adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety."
My favorite part about all these anti-Facebook stories is the one commenter in every article who has to point out a way that Google Plus is better. “You know, with Google Plus’s circles, you can separate your social network into convenient groups and avoid embarrassing TMI moments!” I don’t know if these people work for Google Plus or they’re just avid fans or what. Yeah, you could go on Google Plus and avoid annoying social interactions. Another great way to avoid annoying social interactions is to stock up on canned goods, move to a Unabomber-style shack in the woods of Montana and communicate solely by blowing into an alphorn. The only difference is, in Montana, someone might actually hear you.