Monday, September 7, 2015

Social anxiety with the everyday use of social media

Although social media seems to be a positive part of everyones life, I feel that it is turning into a new form of an addiction that is neither beneficial for the uses or their social competency.  When we enter into social environments, such as school, a doctor's office, or a bar, it seems that many people would rather be tranced into their media device such as their cell phone other than greeting a stranger next to them and sparking up a conversation.  This frustrated the heck out of me!  If we stay locked in and consumed with our own tiny bubble of comfort, how in the world are we going to find the courage to approach new individuals in our lives with confidence?  For instance, lets say that there is an attractive individual that catches your eye and you would like to go up and start up a conversation.  Once you get pasted introducing your name and a couple minutes of small talk, it seems to be much more difficult for some people to carry on with a meaningful conversation.  Could it be that social media users are increasing more anxious because of social media, or could it be that more anxious people are gravitating toward digital interactions?

For individuals in their early twenties, it would be much more easy and convenient to connect with someone of interest over social networking because when one self is asked a question, they have an unlimited amount of time to contemplate their answer in the form of a text, email, or post rather than face to face communication which requires a response from the receiver to deliver a message back to the sender almost immediately. Sadly this leads to more individuals staying at home to communicate rather than experiencing social environments to build new relationships and connections with strangers.  I have come to realize that individuals do not have much anxiety as they are browsing over twitter feeds or facebook, but they are much more anxious when they are cut off from their social media and are not able to be connected with everyone else.  In other words, it is not the numerous amounts of social networking that people are doing that is causing anxiety but the disconnection from social networks.

Not only can our media shape how we think, but it also allows and individual to have a sense of anonymity.  The modern pop cultural term "catfishing" is a real problem that society faces now-a-days because people can portray an identity that is completely different than themselves.  After I found myself being obsessed with facebook and constantly being consumed with what everyone else was doing, I began to feel anxious as if I needed to be out doing something interesting with friends and other individuals, so I could post something for everyone else to see in order to give me a sense of worth in the social media world.  I had a problem with civil inattention due to the constant updating and never ending flow of information on facebook or twitter.

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