On Facebook, Less Can Be More. the more social circles, the more Stress
Facebook users aren’t just connected to real-life friends; their online “friends” also include relatives, coworkers, former lovers and others.
And that can be stressful, since including these others brings aboard some people who aren’t amused by your online persona. A UK study of 313 Facebook users, most of them college students, finds that their “friends” are drawn from an average of seven different social circles—and that the more social circles, the more likely this burgeoning online coterie was a source of stress.
Not surprisingly, having friended parents or employers was especially stressful. Facebook users, the researchers write, “are more likely to feel socially anxious as it will be difficult, if not possible, to meet the expectations of all audiences simultaneously.”
The study also found that young people on Facebook are more likely to be friends with their exes (64 percent) than with their current significant other (56 percent).