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Experiencing social anxiety on social media

Experiencing social anxiety on social media

Social media has many good qualities but is also fraught with challenges for people who are socially anxious. They may feel as self-conscious as they would face to face. They may think that they don't have anything to say, that they come across as boring, or that people may think they're stupid.

These fears affect how people behave, causing them to hold back and hide their true selves. In turn, it makes them feel even more boring or quiet, making them share even less about themselves.

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Don't fall into the trap of comparing yourself with others on social media. You may think they have endless fun or seem very popular, but, in reality, social media gives a small glimpse into somebody else's life.

When you find yourself playing comparison games, stop and a...

There is an attention-training exercise that can reduce the feeling of anxiety.

Spend a few minutes each day practising the following:

  • Listen to all the sound around you - the people chattering, birds singing, the sound of traffic.

If you post something online and wonder why nobody 'like' it, or worry that what you wrote was stupid, try to think about it differently

People might have missed your post because of the sheer volume of content they scrolled through, not because there was anything wrong with your post. Rem...

If you find yourself holding back from taking part in social media, ask what you would tell friends who have the same concern. You'd probably encourage them to give it a go. The same is true for you.

Join in a bit more during group chats. Try share something on social media, even if you ju...

Rather than attending to the conversation at hand, socially anxious people are focused on themselves and continually monitor how they're coming across. They assume the worst about themselves.

When chatting to someone online, try to focus on the other person. Actively listen rather than thi...

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The negative aspects of social media

Since it’s a relatively new technology, there’s little research to establish the long-term consequences, good or bad, of social media use. However, multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy social media and an increased risk for depression, anxiety, loneliness,

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Introversion and social anxiety are separate

Introversion is how you’re wired, whereas social anxiety is something that is holding you back due to fear instead of a choice you're making.

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5: Confirmation of an emotion’s legitimacy
4: Pursuit of the topic
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