Anxiety + alcohol = emotional attachment to Facebook, says study

Anxious students who use alcohol are more likely to connect with others through Facebook. (pic: istockphoto.com/FotoFabbrica)

Anxious students who use alcohol are more likely to connect with others through Facebook. (pic: istockphoto.com/FotoFabbrica)

Students who feel lonely and anxious and who turn to alcohol are more likely to have an emotional attachment to Facebook. That’s the main finding of a study carried out at the University of Missouri.

The research among 229 students discovered that Facebook was a way to connect with others when feeling lonely or anxious – and those with higher levels of anxiety and alcohol use were more inclined to turn to Facebook to ease their anxieties.

“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,” says study author Russell Clayton. “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.”

Students who use marijuana were reported not to have emotional connectedness with Facebook.

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