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Study: Facebook, Twitter Affects Behavior Negatively

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View of the Facebook homepage taken in Washington,D.C., on Jan. 3, 2011. (credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

View of the Facebook homepage taken in Washington,D.C., on Jan. 3, 2011. (credit: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

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SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) — Does using Facebook and Twitter affect your behavior? According to one study, the answer is yes.

A study published Monday by Anxiety UK, a charity that helps those living with anxiety disorders,  found that more than half of the people polled saw that their behavior changed for the worse while on social media sites.

“Further investigation revealed factors such as negatively comparing themselves to others, spending too much time in front of a computer, having trouble being able to disconnect and relax, as well as becoming confrontational online, thus causing problems in their relationships or job,” the study found.

The study found that 45 percent of those surveyed felt uncomfortable if they weren’t able to access their social-network sites and 60 percent of people needed to shut off their computers or cell phones to “fall off the grid” in order to get a break from others.

“We were surprised by the high proportion of people who found that the only way to ensure a break from the demands of their devices was to switch them off, as they were not capable of simply ignoring them,” said Nicky Ledbetter, CEO of Anxiety UK. “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. These findings suggest that some may need to re-establish control over the technology they use, rather than being controlled by it.”

Salford Business School at the University of Salford conducted the poll on 228 people.

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