What is social media anxiety and how to deal with it ?
Social media anxiety
Every one of us had periods in our lives where we spend every single day on social media. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, more recently Instagram reels – all are the usual suspects. Social media is incredible but can be addicting & drive the best of us INSANE. The distress caused by social media is hard to overcome – yet the desire to spend hours on social media remains the same. Online social media platforms have become an increasingly important part of life for a lot of people. However, for some people, this can have a negative effect. Social media addiction is something that is really on the rise and is affecting a lot of lives. We know that social media is also a massive time-suck, making us feel like we’re always behind or missing out on something great.
These causes of anxiety could be stress, alcohol, trauma, genetics, and shockingly social media. Social media where hundreds of people connect share thoughts, ideas, beliefs could also become a platform that gives people illnesses like anxiety, depression, etc.
what is social media anxiety?
Is it just me or does everyone get an anxious feeling waking every morning and desperately having a want to check your phone, your social media to know how many likes you got on an Instagram picture you posted last night, or is there any comments or messages complimenting you publicly and many other thoughts that make you use your phone in an early morning even before opening your eyes, using it for 5-6 hours just scrolling and doing other stuff and craving for public attention, If you do so you are somewhere not just addicted to your social media but it is controlling you and your mental health? And this control, craving for attention, and fear of not being publicly recognized sums up to become what we call social anxiety.
How to notify if you are undergoing from it?
Social media have a different impact on everyone at a different level some may just have neck pain, eye strain, and some at worst may suffer from nutrition deficit, obesity, or sometimes heart disease. It may have mental effects leading to paranoia, anxiety, depression, a feeling of loneliness. Some of the general symptoms that could help in recognizing whether one is suffering from social media anxiety are:
- Loss of enthusiasm for other pursuits.
- Putting off chores at home or work to respond to a social media thread.
- A strong desire to share information on social networking networks.
- When you are unable to check your social media statuses for an extended length of time, you may experience severe tension or anxiety.
- Lying about spending a certain amount of time on social media.
- Disengagement with friends and family.
- Comparing unfavorably yourself to someone else.
- Having sleeping and other problems that make you irritated.
- Using filters to click photos and struggling to choose what to post.
- Not able to differentiate between the reel and real life.
- Isolation and a sense of unhappiness.
How to deal with social media anxiety?
The most important and first step to deal with the problem is by recognizing the same. The anxiety of missing out is sometimes misunderstood with social media anxiety, the symptoms are similar in nature and avoidance could lead to the worst situation as wisely said “precautions are better than cure” would be better to take precautions before and after to avoid it.
If your connection with social media is getting increasingly stressful, consider the following suggestions:
- Limit your time on social media: spending 12-13 hours on social media and suddenly shifting to limit it might not be easy but could be started by reducing it daily by 15-20 minutes which could certainly form a habit and could lead to curtailing your time to 2-3 hours daily.
There are certain ways to limit your time:
- Install an app that could help you by auto-locking it or uninstalling it.
- Disable notifications
- Set time for social media.
- Spend more time offline: try making new friends and making new memories or building connections with the old ones. Spending more time offline in your surroundings and enjoying yourself could help reduce your time on social media.
- Join a club
- Talk with strangers
- Travel and spend more time in the environment around people.
- Changing your focus: change your focus from social media to some other activity. Try learning new stuff or working on old ones.
- Learn new sport
- Work on your hobbies
- Read books
- Meditate: try meditating and changing your focus, setting new goals and habits, expressing gratitude, connecting with your inner self will give you confidence and the ability to understand what is wrong and right.
- Consulting a therapist if required
- Taking suggestions from your family and friends before making any decisions
Modifying Habits to avoid or cure anxiety:
Social media anxiety is somewhere a wrong habit that is built in our minds and affects our emotions and actions. Here are some of the steps that could be taken to modify your habits:
- Never use your phone early in the morning before bathing or doing any regular activity like exercising, reading the newspaper, etc.
- Turn off notifications while studying or talking with friends or family.
- Don’t take your phone to the dining table or your bed.
- Trick your brain by leveraging your loved activity example not using lipstick for two days if I spend more than 3-4 hours a day on social media.
What needs to be done?
Everyone should know and understand the difference between the reel and the real world should also make efforts for others too to understand the same difference. People should accept the fact that every time that is shown in social media is not necessarily true and can be manipulated. Everyone needs to know that “social media was made to be used not to be used by it” and turn around your surroundings and ask your friends and family to use it and not get addicted or influenced by it.