social anxiety and social media

The effects of social media on anxiety

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Header photo by Jacob Ufkes

Do you get stressed when you are unable to check your Twitter or Facebook? You may not believe it, but this is a real disorder. Social media is one of the biggest causes of social anxiety in the modern era. It seems like the more technology we are using, the more depressed we become. Research has proved that 20% of individuals who use social media cannot wait more than 3 hours without checking their accounts. It indicates that we are suffering from social media addiction.

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Effects of Social Media on mental stability

Commonly people are using social media to create friendships and connect with people around the world. However, they have to confront troll, cyberbullying, and toxic comparisons that lead to issues like anxiety, depression and panic attacks. If you spend excessive time on social media, it will affect your mental stability in the following ways.

Focus on likes leads to obsession

The main mission of people these days is to get more likes of social media. That is why people often have to make decisions that they would not make otherwise. They commonly engage in negative behavior, change their appearance and accept risky challenges.

Cyberbullying causes panic attacks and depression

Social media is a common source of cyberbullying epically for teenagers who do not fit society. Cyberbullying commonly leads to social anxiety, depression and increased risk of suicidal thoughts.

Comparing yourself with others leads to inferiority complex

One of the biggest issues that people deal with is they start comparing their body, facial features and beauty with all the other models and actors. They do not understand that how much makeup and editing is used by famous people. In an attempt to look exactly like models most people suffer from inferiority complex.

Fake friends cause stress, loneliness and anxiety

There are some people who like to accept the friend request of everyone they see on Facebook. Such people will only know what you show on social media, and they will be nice to you. It does not mean that they are your real friends. Everyone on social media is not your well-wisher. People often leave their real friends for such fake social media friends. In the end, they are left alone.

These are some of the ways social media is affecting your freedom. It is one of the biggest killer of true happiness in the modern era.

Issues anxiety sufferers have to deal with

Some people are on social media, but they do not feel anxious or stressed. They are not stuck with social media, and they do not feel depressed when they cannot check their social media notifications. However, there are some people who are dealing with serious social anxiety because of social media. If they cannot check their notifications only for a few minutes, they may have to deal with a severe panic attack. Here are some of the common issue people with social anxiety have to suffer from.

  1. They will interrupt any conversation only to check their social media accounts.
  2. They will always lie regarding how much time they spend on social media.
  3. Serious withdrawal from family and friends.
  4. Trying to reduce or stop to use of social media without being successful.
  5. Loss of interest in all physical activities
  6. Everything they do is related to social media or something they will like to share on their accounts.
  7. Neglecting homework or office work for social media
  8. Spending more than 6 hours on social media
  9. They feel a panic sensation when they are unable to share or post anything on social accounts.
  10. They have a phone on their side 24/7 to assure that they will not miss any updates.
  11. Use social media accounts more than they want to.
  12. Social anxiety and severe nervousness on the inability to check social accounts.
  13. Negative impact on professional and personal life

Most people are suffering from social anxiety, but they do not acknowledge the issue they have been dealing with.

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What actions to take

If you notice that you are dealing with social anxiety it is important that you address the issue as soon as possible before you will start losing everyone you have been living with. You may be thinking that how you will begin. Here are some of the ways you can help yourself.

  1. There are different apps available that will allow you to check your screen time. Have such apps in your phone to know how much time you are spending on social media. Make sure that you start reducing the time which you spend on social media. It will surely help you to reduce your usage.
  2. If you feel more anxious while keeping your phone away, it better that you keep moving away from it and start utilizing your hands in another task, so you will not have to deal with any issues.
  3. Assure that you join social groups. Make small conversations and face to face interactions will help you get back into your life again.
  4. Make yourself believe that you are not suffering from social anxiety and you can have a better lifestyle. Remember that there are many other individuals who are dealing with the same issues and together you can make a change.
  5. Meditation and relaxing exercises will help you in an effective way as well. You will feel more satisfied without your phone and social media accounts.

Bottom line

It is important that you get some help as soon as possible if you are unable to control your signs and symptoms of social anxiety. It may get hard for you to stop using social media quickly. However, in order to control anxiety and bring back happiness in your life, it is best to consult a qualified therapist. We recommend you to check  online therapy , for a very professional and complete package. You can also have at check our reviews of the best social anxiety programs. These programs have helped many of us personally and will surely bring a positive change in your life as well. If you are looking for general guidance on anxiety make sure to check out our free e-book.

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Lee Deck

Lee is a co-founder of Understand Anxiety and past GAD sufferer. "My goal is to bring positivity and show people that anxiety is here to help us"

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