It may make you look more popular, but new research has revealed that having lots of Facebook friends can significantly increase a person's stress levels.

Researchers from Edinburgh University in the UK say that the risk of anxiety increases with the number of social circles a person has, adding that on average people have seven social circles.

Researchers explain that the more friend groups a person has, the greater their risk to offend somebody. 

Researchers said that a person's stress levels increase when they present a version of themselves that is unacceptable to some of their online "friends", like their employers or parents, with posts displaying behavior like swearing, recklessness, drinking and smoking.

Researchers found that the most common social network circle was made up of friends known offline with 97 percent of people adding their actual friends as "friends" online. 

Around 81 percent of the Facebook members surveyed have "friended" their extended family online, 80 percent are friends with their siblings, 69 percent are online friends with friends of friends and 65 percent of members are friends with their work colleagues.

The study surveyed more than 300 people on Facebook who were mostly students who were on average 21 years old.

Study author Ben Marder and his team also found that only a third of the surveyed members use privacy settings, which can control and limit the information seen by different types of friends, on their Facebook profile. 

Shockingly, the report also found that more people are Facebook friends with their exes than with their current significant other. While only 56 percent of users were friends with their current boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse online, 64 percent of users were friends with their former partners.

"Facebook used to be like a great party for all your friends where you can dance, drink and flirt," Marder said in a statement. "But now with your Mom, Dad and boss there the party becomes an anxious event full of potential social landmines."