The Unspoken Anxiety of Social Media

Sharon Brown

Sharon Brown

Editor

Social Media is a minefield of different personalities so is it any wonder that we feel anxious highlighting our opinions to a worldwide audience at times? We hear about Social Media Anxiety Disorder which is an addiction to social media, but we don’t hear too much about the other anxiety we can feel through sharing our own opinions. We all fear being judged and if it’s going to happen anywhere, social media is the place!
Anxiety

Picture this scenario and I’m sure if you have dared to share your opinions at any point especially on Facebook and LinkedIn, then this may resonate with you…

You share what you think is a perfectly innocent post highlighting your thoughts on something from your own perspective. You are careful what you’ve written as you don’t want to offend anyone… you double check it and click…. of it goes into the abyss. There is no turning back now unless you delete the post, but some will still have seen it.  The likes and comments and others’ opinions start pouring in. You do love a good debate and you’re happy people are sharing their thoughts and opinions with you, then all of a sudden… ANXIETY ATTACK…. Someone decides to ‘twist’ your words into something completely different. They miss the point you’re making and concentrate on every word they can find that can be construed negatively (if you’re of that kind of mindset). Their tone is discerning. You can’t believe someone could take what you’ve said and turn it on its head to make you sound like a completely different person! You do the worst thing you can do….. you reply defending your position. Suddenly you’re in a heightened state of anxiety as there is no way this person is going to change their mind about you…

I have had this happen on numerous occasions and each time I get more immune to it, but I’ve also learned that social media is full of people who just can’t scroll on by… . There are so many different types out there and I try to stick with the good ones. I believe if you can’t say something nice, then why say anything at all?…. See if you recognise any of these below…

The Enforcer

No matter what you say, if this person doesn’t agree they will keep going at you until you give in to their way of thinking…. There is no democracy in their mind… it’s their way or no way!

The Correctors

ou shouldn’t ever make a mistake with your spelling or your facts. Granted it’s important to get the facts right especially if it’s something important, but rather than correcting you privately, they want to make an example of you so shout you out for all the world to see your incompetence!

The Twister

Your words regardless of how positive you try to keep them, will be twisted into something sinister and dark… You couldn’t possibly be trying to say something nice!

The Word Police

Don’t dare to have an opinion and use words they find offensive (even although the context is very clear). You must change your wording as they feel offended by the very sight of it, but rather than scrolling by…. They must have their ‘two penneth’ worth to show you up!

The scary part about this, is this isn’t just limited to social media. These people ‘walk amongst us’ and practice this in the workplace too so imagine the anxiety they are causing people face to face!

“I’M SICK OF NOT HAVING THE COURAGE TO BE AN ABSOLUTE NOBODY”

– J.D Salinger

​There are others of course and I want to give a massive shout out to The Uplifters. These are the people I like to associate with. They find positivity in most things and they have none of the qualities of the above. They may not agree with you but they debate with you in a respectful manner and everyone agrees to disagree on the subject but wish each other a happy day.

If you experience any of the above, I’d advise to delete and block! If they cause you anxiety, you’ll find a release as soon as you remove them from your network. We are all entitled to our own opinions and thankfully we have the freedom to have this so don’t let anyone dim your glitter!