Is Social Anxiety Connected to Spending Time on Facebook

Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. You could say social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. It is a pervasive disorder and causes anxiety and fear in almost all areas of a person’s life. It is chronic because it does not go away on its own. Social anxiety is also known as social phobia.

The fear of social situations may be so severe that the person experiences severe physical symptoms or panic attacks, or they may avoid going to events, work, school, or other situations where they believe others might judge them. They could also fear meeting people or talking to them on the phone.

Social anxiety disorder can interfere with daily routines, work, school, and relationships. Excessive self-consciousness and worry interfere with daily functioning; for instance, someone with this disorder might avoid going to work for fear of having to talk to a boss or coworker.

Connecting Social Anxiety  Facebook

A September 2022 article published by the MIT Sloan School of Management says that social media use is linked to a decline in mental health. they specifically point out that access to Facebook leads to more anxiety and depression. 

The article goes on to note that data from the  Centers for Disease Control says, “the suicide rate among 10- to 24-year-olds was stable from 2000 to 2007; it then increased 57% between 2007 and 2017.”

The data do not reflect a causal relationship but suggest that more research should be done.

Facebook and the False Sense of Connection

Facebook is meant to be a platform where people share their wonderful moments and memories with friends and family. Still, some people spend too much time on Facebook, which causes social anxiety. 

It’s not uncommon for people who suffer from social anxiety to spend hours upon hours scrolling through their Facebook news feed. It becomes such a habit that they don’t even realize the amount of time they are spending on the site until their phone or computer battery dies or they need to log off their account.

For most people, getting hooked on Facebook is pretty harmless. Many people enjoy using the site as a form of escapism. But for those with social phobia, overusing the site can make things worse.

The problem with Facebook is that it gives us a false sense of connection with others. It makes us feel connected and that we have relationships with lots of different people because we can see what’s going on in their lives, but at the same time, we don’t have to communicate with them face-to-face.

10 Steps to Overcoming Social Anxiety

1. Think of your goals.

 When you use the Internet or Facebook, it should be to accomplish a goal. If you don’t have a clear goal, it is not worth using the Internet or Facebook.

2. Unfollow annoying friends.

Some friends are annoying, so unfollow them and only follow those who bring your life joy and happiness.

3. Disable notifications.

Facebook has many notifications, such as new likes, comments, friend requests, etc.… It is best to turn off all notifications so you won’t feel distracted when you receive them while doing other things.

4. Don’t use Facebook when studying or working. 

You should set aside time for work and study where the Internet is prohibited. Then, set aside another time for leisure where you are allowed to use the Internet for fun purposes only, but don’t go on Facebook if you want to prevent social anxiety from occurring again (because Facebook is addictive).

5. Identify when you feel anxious

The first step in overcoming your fears is to acknowledge them. Pay attention to what triggers your feelings of anxiety. Do you feel nervous when you are in a crowded place? Does meeting new people make you nervous? Identifying when these feelings occur will help you develop strategies that will help reduce your feelings of stress and uneasiness.

6. Understand that everyone has bad days sometimes.

We all have moments when we feel uncomfortable and awkward in front of others, say something stupid, or do something silly by accident. The more comfortable someone looks around others, the more likely they have had bad experiences like yours! Think about that next time you’re on Facebook!

7. Take one week off

It doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday or a Saturday. Select a day in the next week, and don’t go on Facebook at all until then. Don’t log in once, not even to message friends who might have questions about what’s happening later that night. They will call or text you if they need to reach you (you can still check those!). 

8. Set a time limit

Don’t allow yourself to spend more than 30 minutes or an hour on Facebook daily. Once the timer dings, shut down your computer and do anything else!

9. Don’t use it when you have breaks

Instead of using Facebook all at once during your break times, spread them out throughout the day and use a timer for each break session so you don’t exceed your allotted break time. Not only will this keep you from wasting too much time on Facebook during work hours, but breaking up your work and breaks can also boost your productivity.

10. Get support from a friend or family member.

If social anxiety stops you from attending social gatherings, ask a supportive friend or family member to accompany you. Tell them ahead of time about any specific worries you have so they can reassure you when those situations arise.

Social anxiety is something that we face in all of us. For example, some of us can only meet a few people without blushing and being self-conscious. If you are someone who suffers from social anxiety, read this article. It may teach you a thing or two about overcoming Facebook time wasting, stopping spending too much time on Facebook and dealing with social anxiety.