Facebook, Twitter and other social networks make people feel anxious and inadequate, a new survey has found.
In research conducted by the University of Salford for charity Anxiety UK, 53% of people surveyed said that using the sites had altered their behavior, with half saying it was for the worse.
Many respondents felt that they had been negatively affected by the social networks, particularly due to a loss of confidence after comparing their own achievements with those of other users.
Of the 298 people surveyed, 60% said that their sleep pattern had been disrupted as a result of using the sites, because they found it difficult to relax their minds afterwards.
A quarter of those polled also claimed that they had encountered difficulties in their relationships or work due to their actions online.
Over 60% of people said that they could only really have a proper, relaxing break by switching off their electronic gadgets. Nicky Lidbetter, Anxiety UK`s chief executive, said that she was surprised to see that people only feel they can relax by turning off smartphones or tablets.
Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, child psychologist Dr Linda Blair said that technology is increasingly controlling people`s lives.
Scientists deprived volunteers of access to gadgets for 24 hours, and saw symptoms in the people similar to those exhibited in smokers giving up cigarettes.
The majority of people in the experiment failed to last 24 hours without asking to be reunited with their technology./digitalspy.co.uk/