Sometimes, it can feel like social media is everywhere. The average social media user spends just under two hours on various sites each day interacting with friends, celebrities and posting about themselves.
In the modern world, platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn can be our primary source of interaction with the wider world. While this can be a huge positive for many, in some cases, it can turn into a negative.
CBD for anxiety has been proven to help naturally reduce feelings of anxiety, allowing people to live happier lives. However, a serious anxiety disorder may require the help of a professional.
What is Anxiety?
To understand whether your social media use is causing an issue, it’s essential to understand what anxiety is and how it can manifest in ourselves.
According to the NHS, anxiety is “a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe”. It is natural to feel anxious about certain situations in our lives, such as exams or interviews, but continuous anxiety could point to a larger issue.
There are many recognised forms of anxiety, but the one that is most relevant to social media use is social anxiety disorder, or social phobia. Social anxiety concerns a range of extreme emotions and feelings, including:
- Worrying about everyday interactions and conversations.
- Avoiding social gatherings.
- Worrying about doing embarrassing things.
- Fear of being watched, judged or criticised.
How Social Media Can Cause Anxiety
As mentioned at the beginning, social media can be an excellent tool for interacting with the wider world. However, there are also some negative aspects of social media use that anybody can experience. Many of these bad experiences can be categorised into two broad categories.
One of the worst results of social media use has been a growing feeling of inadequacy, as ordinary people compare their lives to what they see online. People put their best foot forward when it comes to everything they do online, which can create a distorted picture as to the quality of life experienced by others.
As a result, many people develop feelings of self-doubt when they see people from similar backgrounds or ages living different lives. These emotions can develop into feelings of anxiety, as people can view themselves as less.
Due to its interactive nature, many don’t realise until its too late that social media can lead to people becoming isolated. This problem is not just one faced by people with few online friends but also by those at the other end of the spectrum. Growing a large social media following can lead to self-centeredness, which can develop into feelings of loneliness.
Our natural bodies still require face-to-face interactions to offset feelings of loneliness. A lack of interactions can lead to feelings of anxiety and depression, potentially creating a cycle of detachment.
Understanding Your Social Media Use
It’s worth pointing out that not everyone who uses social media suffers from anxiety as a result. To understand whether social media is affecting you, it helps to first look at why you use these platforms.
As mentioned previously, certain aspects of social media can prove beneficial to our wider lives. However, specific uses can cause detrimental effects. Such instances that could be causing you to develop anxiety include:
- Fear of missing out – do you frequently check social media to see what others are doing, to the point that you do less yourself?
- Distraction – do you use social media to escape negative feelings instead of combating the reason behind your mood?
- Social security – do you find yourself using social media to avoid real-world conversations when in public?
If any of the above points apply to you, this may suggest that you are using social media in a harmful way.
What You Can Do
If you believe you have a severe and long-term anxiety disorder, there is support available through the NHS. If you simply want help with combating occasional feelings of anxiety, our products can provide the support you need to overcome your issue.