Social media connects the world and brings us closer to our loved ones, but it can also be the reason for anxiety and stress. “Have you ever noticed your anxiety heightens when you’ve just been on social media? Or perhaps while you’re scrolling? Social media-induced anxiety refers to the feelings of stress, anxiety, or distress that can arise from the use of social media platforms. If you use it on a regular basis you’re increasingly exposed to various types of content, such as curated profiles, highlight reels, news, and discussions, which can contribute to feelings of anxiety and unease,” wrote Therapist Carolyn Rubenstein. Here are a few ways by which social media can increase anxiety.
Social comparison: Social media is replete with positive outlooks on life. People usually celebrate their achievements, successes, and keep their failures away from the social world. Hence, we are presented with a distorted view of reality, and we find ourselves comparing our lives to that of others and their social media projections. This can make us feel like failures.
Fear of missing out: The word FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) has gained popularity in recent times, all thanks to social media. We seem to miss out on experiences that people on social media participate in. This causes in us severe anxiety about not joining the bandwagon.
Cyberbullying: Unfortunately, social media is also the place where a lot of online harassment and cyberbullying takes place. Negative comments, personal attacks and public shaming are very common in social media, and they can have a deep impact on mental health.
Online validation and likes: We tend to tie our sense of self-worth to the amount of likes and comments that we receive on our social media shares. This practice of seeking constant online validation can be harmful and toxic for us mentally.
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