Social Anxiety Online
We think social anxiety is about being in an “in person” situation, feeling uncomfortable & having thoughts about what others think of you. This is true among many other ailments!
BUT the real problem these days is ONLINE SOCIAL ANXIETY!!!
In an age of IG, Snapchat & beautiful filters we tend to live a LIE! I mean FB tells people when you are online, so why aren’t they messaging you back? Why are they hanging out with this person in the photo on IG when they were supposed to come to my birthday? Social media exposes fake ness & shows REALNESS!
We are too scared to post unfiltered pictures not just because we may not be comfortable with how we look but because almost everything we see online is FLAWLESS! We try and keep up with the joneses!
Instagram can be a wonderful and inspiring place, full of beautiful and artistic images of the places we want to see, and the people we want to be. However beneath the shiny veneer is a harsh reality. The difference between real or fake vanishes. Many of these ‘perfect ‘images promote totally unreachable ideals and unrealistic expectations that can never be achieved and only lead to feelings of inadequacy, jealousy, and unhappiness.
Our views & perceptions of how we should look & how our house should look is the main focus of what we share in the online world. I have found these people themselves to have major anxiety as they now worry about keeping up that facade. That sounds exhausting! Is there actually HAPPINESS behind these pictures???
No! Because I’ve been there! Buying “this & that” so my house looks exactly the same as “theirs” or using the right hash tags to be seen or stewing over the right photo!
The internet can both fuel & distinguish anxiety & depression.
It can allow people to strive for these amazing things (example products/career) feel EMPOWERED & inspired…. OR feel stressed & less adequate because they do not have these “things”. I tell you now it is not about the things. It is about wether people are strong enough to not fall into the “online social anxiety” trap & wether you are resilient & happy within yourself 😊
From getting the interpretation of people’s messages right, people dodging messages, or keyboard warriors who bully behind a screen or behind your back does not help people who are prone to anxiety. It fuels it! 🔥
I fear for my children growing up in this digital world!
So here’s to modelling a life online that is not a lie! No makeup, messy house, feral kids & amazing authentic relationships! That thing called happiness! With a touch of anxiety, coz that shit never goes away 😊
“Social media has become a space in which we form and build relationships, shape self-identity, express ourselves, and learn about the world around us; it is intrinsically linked to mental health”.
Shirley Cramer CBE, Chief Executive, RSPH
How’s your self-identity shaping?
What I want to highlight is that we all have a relationship with social media and that there is a direct relationship between social media and our mental health.
I want to make you more mindful of your social media usage, to ask yourself “why?” before you post or to take a breath before you scroll. We want you to use that unfollow button, take a social media detox or even use social media to present the true image of your life, not the desired one.
I’m here to start and facilitate the conversation on mental health and social media along with reflecting on our actions & wether or not WE are part of fueling the negativity online & in our relationships!!!!