Facebook, Anxiety, Alcohol Use Unsurprisingly Linked In New Study


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Facebook, anxiety, and alcohol use have been linked in a new study in which researchers made some perhaps intuitive conclusions about precipitates to Facebook connectedness and certain psychological profiles … in essence, if you find in-person social interaction draining, Facebook friendship may be something on which you rely.

Researchers at the University of Missouri School of Journalism examined Facebook, anxiety, and use of substance like alcohol and marijuana, explaining in release that college freshmen students were surveyed about “their perceived levels of loneliness, anxiousness, alcohol use, and marijuana use in the prediction of emotional connectedness to Facebook and Facebook connections.”

Ultimately, what researchers found about Facebook, anxiety and self-medication is that the students who were readily inclined to report anxiety and use of substances also seemed more “emotionally connected” to Facebook — that is to say, they placed more weight upon Facebook interactions that eliminate in-person social situations or in part replace them.

Doctoral student Russell Clayton explained the results, saying in the release:

People who perceive themselves to be anxious are more likely to want to meet and connect with people online, as opposed to a more social, public setting.

Clayton continues:

Also, when people who are emotionally connected to Facebook view pictures and statuses of their Facebook friends using alcohol, they are more motivated to engage in similar online behaviors in order to fit in socially.

But if you puff the magic dragon, illegal in most states? Clayton said that unlike alcohol, it made Facebook users less dependent on the social network:

Marijuana use is less normative, meaning fewer people post on Facebook about using it. In turn, people who engage in marijuana use are less likely to be emotionally attached to Facebook.

The study on Facebook, anxiety, and substances was published in Journal of Computers in Human Behavior.


Kim LaCapria

Kim LaCapria is a social media enthusiast, long-time Inquisitr.com writer and beauty and lifestyle industry expert. She covers a wide range of social media topics, with a particular interest in style-related apps and services. When not working, Kim can be found on Facebook and Pinterest, skating, and sneaking off to Spa Castle.

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