PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Facebook boasts of more than one billion people on its social network, but a study from the School of Business at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the University of Bath, England, suggests many of those on Facebook are more stressed out than ever.
“I think it has gotten stressful to be on Facebook,” Point Park University student Rachel Mischka of Beaver Falls says.
Mischka says there’s constant tension when your Facebook friends include different kinds and generations of people.
“You have a whole stretch of people that now you have to think, ‘Oh, maybe I don’t want them to see. Oh, but I want them to see,’” she says.
KDKA Money Editor Jon Delano reached the study’s author, Ben Marder, a marketing fellow at the University of Edinburgh, by telephone.
Marder says this social anxiety increases as a Facebook user ‘friends’ more and different people beyond their close peers.
“The more audiences you had predicted more cases of stress,” notes Marder. “So, given that Facebook is expanding for different demographics, and as the original users are getting older and they, too, become parents and employers, it would suggest that stress should increase in the future.”
And it will get worse.
Some 55 percent of parents say they follow their children on Facebook, and — talk about stress — more than half of employers say they’ve rejected candidates for jobs because of what they found posted on Facebook.
That puts pressure on Facebook users to monitor the content, says Taylor Fareri, a Point Park University student who lives on Mt. Washington.
“If I’m at a party or out with my friends, I don’t want that on Facebook because I don’t want my mom to see it. I don’t want my teachers to see it. I really have to keep my Facebook really nice and neat,” she says.
Delano: “And that’s stressful?”
Fareri: “That’s really stressful.”