Twitter and Facebook can increase anxiety

09.07.2012 - 11:50

If you can't imagine a day without log in on Facebook or Twitter look out, because a recent study has found that these social sites feed anxiety and can make users feel insecure.

After a survey of hundreds of social network users, conducted by Salford Business School at the University of Salford in UK, the results said that the sites have changed their behaviour, and half of them said their lives had been altered for the worse.

In some cases, when users compare their own achievements to those of friends online, instantly they suffer a negative impact from social media and their confidence fall. Besides, a 55%  felt "worried or uncomfortable" when they could not access their Facebook or email accounts.

Also, according to the poll, two-thirds said they found it hard to relax or to sleep after spending time on the sites, while one quarter said they were facing difficulties in their relationships or workplace after becoming confrontational online.

More than 60% of people said they turn off electronic devices to have a break, but one in three of those surveyed said they switched the gadgets off several times each day, as a way to “disconnect” from the online world.

In 2011, a global study found that turning off mobile phones, avoiding the internet and tuning out of the TV and radio can leave people suffering from symptoms similar to those seen in drug addicts. The majority of the volunteers failed to last the full 24 hours without demanding their devices back.

"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," said Nicky Lidbetter of charity Anxiety UK, which commissioned the poll.