A large number of friends on Facebook may appear impressive but, according to a new report, the more social circles a person is linked to online the more likely social media will be a source of stress. 

A report from the University of Edinburgh Business School has found that the more groups of people in someone's Facebook friends, the greater potential to cause offence. In particular, adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety. Stress arises when a user presents a version of themself on Facebook that is unacceptable to some of their online 'friends', such as posts displaying behaviour such as swearing, recklessness, drinking and smoking. Ben Marder, author of the report and early career fellow in marketing at the Business School, said: "Facebook used to be like a great party for all your friends where you can dance, drink and flirt. But now with your Mum, Dad and boss there the party becomes an anxious event full of potential social landmines."

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