woman looking at her tablet (Photo: Cavan Images; Getty Images )

Anxious? Your Facebook account could be the culprit. Stepping away from your virtual friendships and status messages could help you find some peace, suggests research from Cornell University presented during last week's Association for Computing Machinery's Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris, France.

After surveying 410 people, they found of those who deactivated their accounts, two-thirds reported being content with their decision to stop the status messaging. Forty-six participants deleted their accounts all together and 90% of them were happy to be off the site. Their reasons for logging off: privacy concerns, problems with productivity, addiction, shallow site interactions and awkward friend requests, says the study. (Boss, is that you?)

This isn't the only Facebook-focused research that shows the network can ruin relationships and negatively affect a person's health. And it's difficult not to wonder: is Facebook really the problem, or how we use it?

"There is a strong build-up of anxiety when keeping up with all of our electronic connections," says Larry Rosen, PhD, a professor of psychology at California State University, Dominguez Hills and author of iDisorder: Understanding Our Obsession with Technology and Overcoming Its Hold on Us. "Finding ourselves connected in more and more ways pressures us to keep up--and that's not good."
A frequent user himself, Dr. Rosen thinks Facebook is great for connecting with others, staying in touch with long-distance friends and family and just feeling a sense of community. In fact, he says, the more Facebook friends a person has, they less likely they are to show signs for mild to major depression.

The problem though, he adds, is when Facebook makes us too connected. And those same online friends make us anxious and even anti-social. "We've reached an overload state and find ourselves deciding on where to cut back," says Dr. Rosen.
Just because users can check Facebook doesn't mean they should. "It's become a compulsion and it doesn't need to be. We can control our world," says Dr. Rosen. "We just have to be truthful when we're not."
"If a user full-on deactivates, they're basically throwing their hands up, saying 'I can't be in control of my own life,'" says Dr. Rosen. Before you cut the cord, try utilizing Dr. Rosen's Facebook-diet guidelines:

Set boundaries. Each day, spend one to two minutes on Facebook before turning them off. Set an alarm for 15 minutes and when it goes off, log back on for another couple minute. Gradually, increase your alarm time from 15 to 20 to even 30 minutes, suggests Dr. Rosen. "These boundaries will help you feel focused, less anxious but still in the know," he says.

Take a tech break. Coffee, anyone? "The whole act of a coffee break is to take a break and let your brain calm down," says Dr. Rosen. Instead of checking Facebook, opt for calming activities such as: a short outdoor walk, meditation and cueing up your favorite tunes. "When we're feeling tired or our brain is fried, turning away from technology helps us reboot," says Dr. Rosen.

Embrace the hide feature. "If you have 1000 Facebook friends, you are reading tons and tons of posts a day," says Dr. Rosen. "Hide anyone you don't need to know about, or [whose posts bring you down]." With these tips, you can control your virtual socializing instead of letting it control you.