Social Media Anxiety

First, let’s start with some housekeeping. I am re-sharing my Medium article on the blog (same article but listed under a different title). If you use the following link to read this article, I will earn a small commission. It might be only a few pennies but it’s better than earning nothing at all. This article is behind a paywall on Medium but I want to make it available for everyone to read.

♡ Medium Article: Is Social Media Making You Anxious?

Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash

Social Media Anxiety

It is no surprise that technology has become predominant in everyone’s lives in the past 20-something years. People now have smartphones and smart TVs, and they don’t even bat an eyelash. Smartphones especially have been making life a whole lot easier by enabling people to stay in touch with friends, classmates, and family at any time of the day. It can be hard to not check your social media sites or text your friends constantly but we love being connected. With the click of a button, we can find pictures and videos of animals, recipes for some of our favorite foods, or any photo from friends’ latest vacation. We have everything at our fingertips and everything that we could want in the palm of our hands.

(っ◔V◔)っSerious Question: What is Social Media Anxiety?

Social media sites can make people feel anxious when they use them too much. It’s important to think about how checking the sites impacts you and try putting the phone down even if you don’t want to stop using the site for good. We can all relate to the feeling of being sucked into the vortex of social media. It’s hard not to get distracted by all the yummy recipe videos and adorable photos of our family pet, but it doesn’t come without a cost. Look at that mouth-watering slice of pie and think about how your homework isn’t going to do itself. One more scroll is time that could be spent doing something more productive.

♡ Related Article: It’s Time to Stop Procrastinating

Down the Social Media Rabbit Hole

Image Source: https://www.deviantart.com/aya-mei/art/

If it’s not the perfectionist’s rabbit hole, then it’s the social media rabbit hole. You may find it hard to get out of the Facebook and Twitter loop when you spend too much time scrolling through social media. It’s important to take time for ourselves, but these days it seems like it’s almost impossible to do so. With the world at our fingertips and the internet constantly online, it can be difficult to unplug. You are always expecting someone to contact you even if you’re not that social yourself. When your phone is constantly in reach and within sight, it’s hard to avoid distractions from all of this constant connectivity.

Social media can have a negative effect on your life if you mostly use the platform for negative engagements such as arguments or venting frustrations. This manifests as social media anxiety where you worry about updating social media and partake in this compulsive behavior because you feel obligated to check in constantly. And it’s not just the social media platforms themselves that are the cause for concern; some experts say that engaging with these platforms too much can lead to a number of mental health problems, such as depression, depression, and FOMO. 

You might have social media anxiety if you answered “yes” to the following questions. Keep in mind that these behaviors could lead to symptoms of anxiety:

Questions
1. Have you ever compulsively checked your phone, laptop, or tablet?
2.
Do you spend hours scrolling through social media feeds?
3.
Do your friends and family think you spend too much time online?

What can you do about it?

There are a few ways to stay off your phone when you don’t want to. For instance, if you’re talking with someone in person, keep your phone in your pocket. Other tips include turning off all notifications and using an app like Freedom, which automatically blocks apps that cause addictive behaviors while blocking notifications. This is a way to control your social media scrolling by not splitting attention. Stop reminding yourself that there will be more to look at. If you’re unable to access your social media for a while, it will create anxiety in the short term and make you more productive. It’s worth standing up for your social media rights as they allow people to communicate, with friends or family. Pictures are a great way to show people where you’ve been or what’s happening in your life. You can send me photos of your pet any day!

(っ◔◡◔)っKey Takeaway: It’s important to remember that social media is supposed to be fun. If you find that it’s not fun anymore, then it might be time for a break.


(っ◔◡◔)っ ♥ FINAL THOUGHTS ♥

I am mindful of the impact social media can have on mental health, so I make a conscious effort to limit my usage. The upside is that by limiting my use, I am not exposing myself to social media as much. Less time on social media means less anxiety. These days, I am mainly active on Twitter and this blog. I’m not active on Instagram (@serene_hilz), but I do check it occasionally. As for Facebook, my account has been collecting virtual dust for some time.

You can also connect with me on Twitter (@hellokitty8404) and I encourage you to subscribe to my website at http://www.sereneluna.net so that you can receive the latest updates from me.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

28 thoughts on “Social Media Anxiety

  1. ZeroSpace says:

    Read it on Medium so you’d get paid! Worth mentioning that even people who avoid social media per se can have kind of a general internet addiction. I hate Facebook and all related, but damned if I can’t scroll through the entire Google news feed until I run out of articles to read. Been on one of those kicks lately and preparing to force myself to switch to Kindle reading soon.
    I love Reddit, but I seldom log in because I know I could just LIVE there if I let myself go. For all intents and purposes, Reddit is social media.
    And of course, WP is a variety of social media. To which I am addicted. But. Bloggers are nice and it’s usually long form writing. So I feel like that’s a little different. Even so, after doing a long walk I know I will jump on here tonight to choose a different theme. I am in the mood to obsess on my design. *however* – and this is key – I am making myself walk for a couple hours first. And when I do such a thing, the phone stays home.
    We can’t escape the unrelenting grasp of the net even if we don’t do Facebook. But we can damn well implement buffers. In my case walking with an mp3 player that is not internet connected, going for hikes, etc. Anything that is not looking at the phone, ya know.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thanks, Melissa! I made a whopping 3 cents last night lol On average, these past two days I made 20 cents per day. I’m currently at $5.64 USD for September which is a new record for me. They take 30% of my earnings because I am considered International (so stupid living in Canada) but it’s still something. My goal is to reach 1K followers by the end of the year. It’s an ambitious goal but growth is better on Medium than it is on Twitter, thus making me obsessed with stats.

      You are totally right that one doesn’t have to be addicted to social media to have an internet or phone addiction. Tbh I am addicted to my phone haha I could spend hours browsing the internet and reading Reddit too!! Anything with infinity scrolling can be addictive – Twitter is bad for this too, but I find Twitter too boring to get addicted to it, hence why I use it. ha. Yes, you’re absolutely right that WP is a form of social media. I spend way too much time on WP (much more than I would like to admit). Bloggers are one of the reasons why I continue to check WP and interact with ppl. It’s like using a slot machine, we are all destined to become addicted to the internet/addicting app. I really enjoy using WP. However, when it comes time to choose a theme I find WP to be limiting. Are you in the same boat? To this day, I am still using the retired Sela theme.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. buddy71 says:

    like most if not all addictions, i feel one has to have an addictive personality. do you let tech control you? or do you control the tech? though i am never not far from my phone, it is mostly for photos and to stay in touch with my gf since we do not live near each other. i do, like the person above, check google news to stay informed. i also use it to google things of interest that i might see on tv, etc. i do need to to check wp daily as those i follow will get to long to keep up. but then i also limit how many i follow. if some one has an addictive personality, i think there are worst things to be addicted to than social media. but maybe not…

    Liked by 4 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      You make some excellent points and I like how you describe addictive personality. I’m not obsessed with social media, but I still spend hours on my phone. The WordPress app is great and I’m glad to have it but there are also some drawbacks, like how easy it is to get sucked into reading too many blogs. I have to physically leave my phone in a different room because otherwise, I will find some use for my phone, whether it’s browsing the web or watching YouTube videos, checking WhatsApp, etc.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Pooja G says:

    I got social media anxiety for a while. I had been posting daily on multiple platforms and it just got too much. Especially with Instagram. I posted reels daily for a long time and just felt so burnout and anxious. The thought of having to reply to everything and make more content was just overwhelming. I stopped posting daily and now only post when I feel like it. Awesome post!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      You sound like you put in a lot of hard work and really had first-hand experience with social media anxiety, I’m impressed by your dedication. I can’t even imagine juggling all that without feeling burnt out, and it took a lot of guts to keep going knowing how stressful it was. I’m happy you found balance by posting less; it reminds of of the saying, “less is more.”

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Amel Ouji says:

    Great post! I really appreciated your mention on sources that can block other apps that cause addictive behaviors such as Freedom. Thank you for that. Hope you have a great day.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hilary Tan says:

      Thank you for reading my blog post, and thanks for the feedback! 😊 I am happy that you found my advice helpful. I’m not affiliated with the Freedom app in any way (I just wanted to let people know about them!)

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Feets says:

    😂 I have a phone addiction. Not necessarily an addiction to my contents on my phone but my actual phone. It shares a bed w/ me and it’s always with me. I get scared without it because I am afraid of finding out something bad happened (I went through a traumatic event and didn’t have my phone so I get scared.) I carry around a sketchbook and my phone and when I don’t have either (especially my sketchbook) I get anxious. Sometimes I don’t draw in it and it’s like holding a teddy bear.

    Social media gives me anxiety just being on it that I can’t enjoy it like I used to. If you go on my instagram, you can tell how often I post. I hate Reddit, I hate Tumblr (hard to post there), I hate Twitter….

    By the way, I want to write on Medium, is that expensive? I just want to write to pay for a subscription to read other content. 😭 Is that even a thing?

    Liked by 2 people

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