London, July 9: Ever felt low if your friend gets more likes or tweets than you? You’re not alone. Comparisons on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter make people feel anxious and under-confident, according to a poll.
The poll also found that more than half said these sites had altered their behaviour, especially suffering a negative impact from social media. Two-thirds said they were unable to relax or to doze off after spending time on the sites.
And one quarter of those polled said they had been left facing difficulties in their relationships or workplace after becoming confrontational online, the Telegraph reported.
In total, 298 people were polled by Salford Business School at the University of Salford, for the charity Anxiety UK. Of those, 53 percent said the launch of social networking sites had changed their behaviour and of those, 51 percent said the impact had been negative.
The research also demonstrated the addictive powers of internet, with 55 percent of people saying they felt “worried or uncomfortable” when they could not access their Facebook or e-mail accounts.
More than 60 percent of people said they felt compelled to turn off electronic gadgets in order to have a break, with one in three of those surveyed saying they switched the devices off several times each day.
The findings about behaviour changes after using social networking sites came from smaller in-depth research which was then carried out by Anxiety UK.
Nicky Lidbetter, the charity’s chief executive 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.”
Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist said many people suffered increased anxiety because they failed to take charge of the demands being placed on them. She said: “I think one of the key things is that people have begun to behave as though technology is in control of them, instead of the other way round. We can switch the gadgets off but a lot of us have forgotten how to.”