friendsWe've all heard -- and perhaps experienced? -- that Facebook can cause anxiety and depression in people. But were you aware that the amount of friends you have on Facebook can make you anxious and paranoid and all around less happy than you should be? Well, according to a new study, it's true! So, to all you people out there who have 3,516 friends -- sucks to be you!

Well, sucks to be you if you're the type of person who cares about this type of thing. The study, which was conducted by the University of Edinburgh Business School in Scotland, suggests that the more types of friends a person has on Facebook, the more likely you'll have anxiety about offending someone. The researchers concluded that stress can increase when a person posts something -- or is tagged in something -- that might not sit well with all their "friends." In other words, since all four million of your friends don't like Obama, booze, and vulgarity, you might get all anxious and jittery when you post a photo of yourself, hammered, giving the finger, while wearing an "I love Obama" shirt.

This is interesting. As someone who has thought many, many times about deleting their account, but hasn't, because there are people I like keeping in touch with -- why not just thin out my "friends" a bit? Create a new account, or delete everyone I'm not actually friends with?

I know that people I know (like, know know) would never be offended by anything I post on FB. They know my views and behavior and have a relationship with me regardless. Because we're real friends. And that's nice. That's how it should be. I like the idea of these people seeing photos of my daughter, etc. And I'd probably post more often if this were the case. I don't know -- it just seems weird having some dude I worked with for a few months 100 years ago, knowing all these intimate details of my life. And vice-versa.

So, maybe this is the antidote to deleting your Facebook page? Simply thinning out the herd instead. I like it. A bit radical, but seems like a solid idea. And it would take the "stress" out of Facebook.

Of course, I have to be willing to accept the fact that the people I'm not really friends with will be pissed when I delete them.

Do you have a lot of Facebook friends?


Image via Photos by Mavis/Flickr