Social Media Anxiety

Social Media Anxiety

January 02 2023 TalktoAngel 0 comments 97 Views

Social media is a popular online medium of social interaction with many attractive qualities. For many, social media has become an integral part of their daily life. As soon as we get up, we reach for our phone to check the latest news or notifications. We watch social media posts and feel loss of control of what we see. However, we have the option of deciding your social media posts, sharing information whenever you want and removing or cut out those parts of you that you don't want to share. For those who have social anxiety, online interactions can be difficult, and make them feel just as self-conscious like they would when they meet face-to-face.

The anxiety associated with social media is a mental health concern that typically develops in adolescence. It is characterized by the anxiety about being judged and by online images, information shared among people who are using social media. It is also related to a strong anxiety of talking to strangers on the internet for the fear of embarrassing yourself. These anxieties affect the way people, who suffer from anxiety, behave, often leading them to repress their emotions and conceal their true self from their peers. This can fuel further anxiety, increasing their fear about being perceived as boring or quiet. To understand you anxious concerns and social media challenges, consult online with best “Clinical Psychologist near me”.

Reasons for Social Media Anxiety

  • Comparison and Despair

How we utilize social media is crucial. Humans are prone to compare things and we all do it in real life, as well as on the internet. However, online, we frequently begin comparing our lives to an illusion or a representation of life that is perfect. We apply filters to our images every day and take several pictures of different angles before choosing the "best" image to post. We are constantly seeking the perfect image of self.

We must ask ourselves what we are hoping to accomplish by sharing this information. What are we hoping for in the return? If we share for approval or confirmation, or we're hoping for someone to like our image, or provide us with an affirmative comment. But when we don't receive that reaction which can lead to feelings of being unsatisfactory, developing low self-esteem as well as feelings of over self-consciousness and body image issues. This can put us at risk of having adverse mental health outcomes such as signs of anxiety, distress and depression.

  • "Fear of Missing Out" (FOMO)

Fear of Missing Out, is an anxiety or worry that there are activities/events/occasions that are happening without you, and you feel left out.. It's characterized by continually monitoring what your friends and followers are doing to ensure that you don't to be left out of. FOMO has been linked to less satisfaction with life and low mood that in turn leads to more frequent experiences with FOMO. Many young people report that FOMO causes them to feel anxious, and causes feelings of sadness, loneliness and feeling unsatisfied. Some examples commonly cited by youngsters include seeing all your classmates/colleagues at a specific area (as they've turned location on) and not being invited or part of the group. Also, they may experience anxiety because they are unable access social media sites and can be referred to as "nomophobia" or "fear being offline' (FOBO).

  • Overwhelming Notification

"Beep", "Buzz", "Ding", our devices constantly request and diverts our attention. If we aren't able to respond to a message it can make us feel disoriented, stressed, and anxious. When we react to notifications, the brain's reward system gets activated and releases dopamine, which prepares us to be ready for the next notifications. Youngsters who have said that they are anxious, stressed, or sick due to the desire to reply to everything, everyone. They often put across questions to themselves such as "why they didn't appreciate my image?,why did they not respond?" Such students often express severe levels of depression and anxiety when their notifications become a concern. 

How can we manage Social Media Anxiety?

It is suggested to social media sites that they warn users when images are altered digitally by any method in relation to the amount of time spent on the internet, and to the risk of damage to the mental health of users. A lot of people who use social media are prone to comparisons and feel a certain degree of FOMO, but they aren't experiencing anxiety related to social media. If, however, you feel your interaction with social media has become more difficult, here are some useful tips to help:

  • Be aware of your use of social media and how it impacts in your attitude and wellbeing. Understand and analyse, what is your mood after you have used social media? Are you feeling anxious or depressed?
  • If you're too focused on looking at others' lives, take a moment to notice your actions. You can consider asking these questions to yourself: Is this helping me? Does this seem like an accurate comparability? Do I see the complete picture of this person's existence or this is just a tiny air-brushed picture? If you are able, try, if you can, to redirect your focus.
  • Be mindful of your time spent on social media, and reduce the number of platforms you utilize especially if that you are spending the majority of your time scouring other accounts or comparing accounts and then feeling depressed
  • Select your friends and followers carefully, so that you do not expose yourself to information that can only make you angry and/or make you feel uncomfortable about yourself. Be aware that what you see on the internet may not be an accurate representation of reality.
  • Disable push notifications on social media. If you're not keen on turning off notifications for all channels, you can enable priority mode (android) or "do not disturb" (iOS) so that you only be alerted for a specific time.
  • As with anything that could affect your mental health, if are worried about your use of social media discuss it with your teachers, parents, or friends or seek assistance from the Best Psychologist in India.

If your anxiety about social interactions whether offline or online is causing you distress or is affecting your daily life it is time to talk to an experienced mental health professional or an Online Counsellor at TalktoAngel India's leading Online Counselling and mental health support platform.

Contribution  by: Dr (Prof) R K SuriBest Clinical Psychologist & Life Coach & Utkarsh Yadav



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