Social media has completely transformed the way people interact with one another. With Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the myriad of other social networks, you can easily stay in constant contact with anyone – even people you barely know.
However, recent studies have shown a definite link between social media and increased levels of anxiety. How many times have you sent an email when you were angry or tired and realise it was delivered to the wrong person, or that there was an obvious typo? Have you ever posted the wrong photo on Twitter or Facebook only to realise this 24 hours later when it has been shared over and over again? All of the sudden, you feel a sense of digital devastation. You stare at your inbox after sending an important email only to wonder why you haven’t received a response in the past two hours.
Social Media Disorder
All of these seemingly common reactions are the part of a bigger trend that is starting to rear its ugly head and being referred to as Social Media Anxiety Disorder. There is good news – you are not alone. IN fact, there are more than two billion people on the Internet around the world with over 100 trillion emails send every year – many of which go directly to the spam folder.
Due to all the things that may go wrong, social media is now a source of anxiety and stress, more so than ever before. These feelings can actually affect your sense of self in a negative manner. There are some studies that have even concluded that the excessive use of social media can lead to a mental health issue or even aggravate an existing one.
Why am I being ignored?!
With access to all this modern technology, the need to engage and connect is more powerful than ever before and the expectation is that the recipient of a message or post respond right away. If they fail to do so, the automatic reaction is that they are either mad or ignoring you. In most cases, the other person is just busy and not able to respond or hit “like” within what you consider a long-enough period of time.
Now the question emerges of, do you suffer from social media anxiety disorder? There are some definite tell-tale signs that you are one of these who suffers from SMAD if you do any of the following:
- Your cell phone is an all-the-time accessory
- You become anxious if someone does not respond to your Tweet in a certain period of time
- Everyone would rather stay on their phone rather than converse with each other
- Check a photo every few minutes for Likes after you post it
- If your followers or likes goes down on social media you become sad or upset
Anxiety associated with social media seems to be a serious concern. However, there are ways to overcome this growing trend. One of the most important steps you can take is to be aware of what you do on social media, minimising your time in front of computers and phones and take a step back to realise that what goes on does not define who you are