Have you ever felt anxious when using social media? Here are 3 ways that social media induces anxiety and my advice on what you can do about it.
1. You become anxious when you do not check your social media or reply to a message instantly.
Do you find yourself checking your phone as soon as you wake up in the morning? If someone wakes you at 3am with a message, do you panic about what they might think if you wait until morning to respond to it? Anxiety can be brought about through the pressure to feel like we need to be constantly connected. This can be related to the fear of missing out (FOMO) and the fear of letting down others.
Have you ever had a friend fall out with you (even delete you) because you didn’t reply to their social media message? Yes, this really does happen these days, as more and more people are beginning to place too much value on this virtually. Where some of us may be connected to social media 24-7 by an app, some of us do not ‘check’ that often, and when we do, we can find that we are firmly in the dog house.
What can you do about it? My advice is to share an email with your friends on social media and tell them that you do not check Facebook that often, so please don’t be offended if they do not hear back from you instantly. If you are going away for the weekend, post a cover photo that says ‘on a social media detox, back on the 14th’ for example. Yes, I personally do not think that we should have to explain our whereabouts to anybody and a private message to someone who might be expecting to hear from you should be sufficient but….. hey this is the world we live in 🙂
2. You write a status or comment and then delete it again… and again… and again…
Social Anxiety can happen with social media and it can feel just as crippling as ‘off’ Facebook.If you find yourself second guessing what you are saying all the time, and are worried about what you ‘look like’ to other people, then you could be experiencing social media anxiety. Symptoms of this include:
- Writing a comment or status and deleting it, then writing it again.. and deleting it.
- Worrying over what somebody else may think of your status or comment.
- Avoiding posting altogether because you are worried…..
What can you do about it? First of all try and identify what it is that has you worried. There may be a specific person behind it for example – and you can set your settings to show things that you write as a status for example to only certain people. if however, you are worrying TOO much about what other people think then this could be a confidence issue and some work on finding your voice and owning it could come in handy.
3. You spend way too long taking photos, and selfies because you have to ‘look good’ on social media.
Do you spend ages taking a selfie for your profile and then worry about what others will think of it? Do you even go as far as to avoid having your photo taken because you don’t want it to end up on Facebook? Appearance anxiety and body confidence issues can really come to the forefront when we feel the pressure to be ‘seen’ on social media.
Then there is the issue of who likes the photo – if not many people like it, do you simply delete it and head to the bathroom to take another?
Anxiety can also arise when you then go back out into real life situations as you worry that you do not look like your pic on Facebook.
What can you do about this? Take a photo that looks natural so that you do not then worry that in real life you don’t look filtered, and when you find one that YOU like, use it. You do not need to use social media for approval. If you do find that this brings up confidence and self worth issues for you then it might be time to talk about it.
I hope that this post helps you if you do suffer with social media anxiety and if it isn’t applicable to YOU but you know someone who might need to read this, please do send the link to them.
Have a great week and I will speak to you next time,
And remember, you are amazing!