Social Media Anxiety

By Sarah Wylde

Did you know that the average person spends 142 minutes a day on social media, and check their phones every 12 minutes up to 80 times a day? Social media is a useful tool for communication, creators, and entertainment, but when does to become too much?

When you haven’t checked your social media platforms of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc. and you get an overwhelming feeling of anxiousness. Or you suffer anxiety when not able to check notifications regularly and find it hard to put your phone down and focus on the people in your life. You could be experiencing social media anxiety.

The connection between social media and mental health disorders and the significance of regulating social media use cannot be overlooked. Spending several hours daily on social media can impact the capacity of your daily life. It can cost your job, relationships, and can cause you to lose interest in everything else that isn’t social media. Excessive use can even cause issues with a good night’s sleep as well since they want to be the first to see new posts. Social media anxiety disorder (SMAD) is beginning to be recognized as a mental health disorder and an addiction.

Symptoms that accompany social media anxiety include:

•    Eye, neck, and back strain from looking down and staring at phone screens for an extended period of time.

•    Spending eight or more hours on social media sites.

•    Lying and being defensive about the time you spent on social media.

•    Neglecting commitments, work, and people to spend time and engage in social media activities.

•    Feeling severe nervousness almost to a verge of an anxiety/panic attack when you cannot check your social media accounts.

To break the cycle of continually looking at your phone and checking those notifications, it will take hard work. Start slowly so that you don’t take on too much and get discouraged. Maybe start to lower the amount of time that you spend on the platforms, go out and leave your phone home, or delete the app from your phone completely. Whatever platform you use and interact with, be mindful of what you share, and how often you are on it. It is time to reconnect with the physical world and not worry as much about the digital world.

Until next time.

Sarah Wylde