Now with increase use of the internet today, more and more people are spending more of their time online, than physical engagements. A lot of our daily physical activities have resorted to the online platforms that ranged from shopping, schooling, dating, job hunting, paying bills to online social networks (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and so on). However according to mental health expert’s nationally, based on studies have validated a strong correlation between social anxiety and social media, as a result social media has become an anxiety-provoking factor.
So the question that I have to ask my viewers, do you get a little stressed or anxious when your not able to check your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? For those that are unaware that social media anxiety disorder is a mental health condition that is much similar to social anxiety disorder. Based on expert’s information, just about 20% of people with these social media accounts have a hard time not accessing their account for more than three hours without checking them. So, you can ask yourself that famous question, ”Do I or someone that I know of have social media anxiety disorder”
Symptoms of Social Media Anxiety Disorder
In todays world we all have know quite a few number of people with social media anxiety disorder, who get stressed out or who show signs of frustration, just being away from their Facebook or Instagram accounts for just a few minutes. Below are some common symptoms of social media anxiety disorder:
- Being with a group of friends and interrupting the conversation to inform them that someone has commented on their latest Facebook page
- Excusing yourself in a social situation with family or friends to check what has been happening on Twitter
- Checking your Facebook or Twitter account while concentration or insistently being distracted for fear that individuals may be commenting on your Facebook or Twitter account
- Randomly adding strangers to your Facebook or Twitter accounts
- Spending 8 or more hours a day on a social networking site
- Feeling a sense of attachment to your phone or computer, as if nothing else matters more
- Built up anxiety when comments are not made and pictures are not posted/tagged correctly
- Checking the number of followers on Twitter and constantly finding opportunities to increase these numbers
Mental Health Issues Caused by Social Media Addiction
This goes without saying that many social media platforms focusing on appearances and the notion of creating what appears to be that fulfilling and a satisfactory life style. Nowadays you have many users that are beginning to experience lower self-esteem and reoccurring emotions, like envy and jealousy. Now of course with the many filtering and lighting photo adjustment options, social media allows users to alter the very way we view not only others, but ourselves as well.
At this time, this mental health crisis is creating an unnecessary need to be perfect, especially with the millennial generation. Just this technology alone could also contribute to the eating disorder and body dysmorphia. With so many people posting pictures like selfies, users are constantly comparing themselves to others who appeared to be at their happiest; more so women comparing themselves negatively to other women’s content creating emotions of inadequacy and unattractiveness.
Fear of Missing out (FOMO)
Another social anxiety concern stimulated by social media is the fear of missing out, you know what I mean – pictures of where the user was not invited or an event that you were not able to attend like a graduation, birthday party, wedding for what ever reason ( couldn’t get off work, didn’t have transportation; no babysitter…..) can take a toll on self-esteem.
This emotion is characterized as feeling anxious that something exciting or interesting is happening elsewhere. Social media has often perpetuated this anxiety, when you see posts and pictures about that wonderful time your peers are having without you.
FOMO really depends on your own level of satisfaction. FOMO really come from a person dissatisfaction with their own social lives and the fact they feel like they have less. Its stimulates negative feelings like boredom and loneliness, which has impact on someone’s psychological wee-being.
A study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine last year surveyed 7,000 19- to 32-year-olds and found that those who spend the most time on social media were twice as likely to report experiencing social isolation, which can include a lack of a sense of social belonging, engagement with others and fulfilling relationships.
What You Can Do
Ask we already know, there are millions of people who post all that great stuff on these social media sites on a daily bases, if not more frequent than that. The people who post these images have a normal life just like you and me, but you have to realize they mainly post the good stuff that’s going on. Just remember if your life is not as awesome as some people you see on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, it is not going to get any better by sitting there obsessing over it. The best way to intervene is to get out and enjoy your real life, not your social media life, because that is not a real life. If you are having trouble doing this or you just need to talk to someone, there are people who can help you with this. You do not have to have an appointment or even leave your home to do it. Talk to an online therapist or counselor now and you can feel better as soon as the next day.