Survey: Facebook, Twitter may feed anxiety

July 8, 2012 at 10:23 AM
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MANCHESTER, England, July 8 (UPI) -- A British survey found about half say social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter feed anxiety and make them feel inadequate.

The Salford Business School at the University of Salford in Manchester, England, conducted the survey of almost 300 people for the non-profit Anxiety UK, and found of the 50 percent who said their lives had been altered for the worse said their confidence fell after comparing their lives to those online, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Two-thirds said they found it hard to relax completely or even sleep after spending time on social media sites, while one-quarter said they faced difficulties either in their relationships or workplace after being confrontational online.

In addition, the survey found 53 percent said social networking sites had changed their behavior, and of those, 51 percent said the impact was negative.

More than 60 percent said they felt compelled to turn off their cell phones, BlackBerrys and computers to take a break, while one-third said they switched their devices off several times each day.

Yet, many found social media somewhat "addicting," with 55 percent worried or uncomfortable when they could not access their Facebook or e-mail accounts, the survey said.

"If you are predisposed to anxiety it seems that the pressures from technology act as a tipping point, making people feel more insecure and more overwhelmed," Nicky Lidbetter, the chief executive of Anxiety UK, told the Telegraph.

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