How to use social media if you are dealing with social anxieties on a daily basis. In that case, it’s possible that you see social media as just another scary form of socializing with others.
Social media has many qualities and the good thing is that you can fully control what you share, who you socialize with, and leave out any parts of your life that you are not comfortable sharing.
Living With Social Anxiety
Interacting online can be a challenge if you have social anxieties, and people might feel self-conscious as they are when communicating with others in person.
Social anxiety is a mental health issue that often starts in the teenage years and it’s mainly characterized by a fear of being judged. People with social anxieties might have a distorted image of how they look, they might think of themselves as boring, stupid, quiet, and unworthy.
Social anxiety causes people to withdraw from social interaction while holding back and hiding from others. For some social anxiety can be so serious that they might withdraw from any type of social situation.
Social anxiety impacts one in 20 people at some point in their lives.
What is the Impact of Social Media on People with Social Anxieties?
When you are living with social anxiety all your offline fears transfer to the online world. People with social anxiety are more likely to fear that they will come across as boring, they might wonder will they offend someone, how many likes and comments will they receive? What if they receive none? What will people think when they see that?
Let’s keep in mind that these concerns might be there when we are interacting with people online but for most of us, those are fleeting concerns, not something that can become all-consuming.
Should You Avoid Social Media if You Have Social Anxiety?
The answer to this question is no! You shouldn’t avoid online communication because you have social anxiety. The cost of it could be great since many people are making social plans online, communicating with their loved ones or they get new job offers online. Being online is an important part of one’s social life. If you feel too anxious to take part in the world of social media, you are at risk to become more lonely and withdrawn.
How to Use Social Media If You Have Social Anxiety?
The first thing you need to remember is that your social post is one of many. We live in a culture of shares and likes. When you post something you might worry about how many hearts you will receive. It can be hard when you have a specific number of hearts that define you as popular or unpopular. Plus, this is public so if no one likes your post, there’s an open record of this for the whole world to see.
If you find yourself worrying over this, try to think about it differently. Try to think about the great volume of posts that your followers saw that day while quickly scrolling through their feed. If your post doesn’t get as many likes or hearts, it’s not because you are unpopular but because there’s so much else going on online.
Change Your Focus
Don’t focus on your presence online, focus more on others, and their content. Instead of repeatedly checking how many likes you have, try to enjoy everything that you can find in your feed. Reach out, post, and re-post things that make you happy.
In the process of focusing your attention on others, avoid comparing your life with other people’s lives. Researchers show that comparing yourself with others can have a major impact on self-esteem. Someone’s social media account gives us only a glimpse into someone’s life. If you find yourself comparing with others, ask yourself do you really see a full picture of someone’s life.
Participate, Don’t Overthink It
It’s easy to scroll down without posting anything, ignoring messages, and being afraid to reach out. This passive approach to social media is related to a higher level of depression and anxiety. Rather than only observing and passively scrolling, take part and share a little bit of yourself.
For starters, share someone’s else post if you are scared to share a photo of yourself right away. Remember if you haven’t posted in a while your friends will be happy to see a new photo of you.