Social Media Anxiety
I can’t help but wonder if the rise of social media has been greatly influenced by the increased social anxiety that seems to have seeped into the general population along with recent technological advances. People would rather text than call, a tweet is a sufficient conversation, e-mails are the best way to communicate in offices, and GOD FORBID you don’t give your bff a happy birthday shout out on Facebook! You just simply wouldn’t be friends anymore. Face to face contact and genuine interpersonal connections are simply undervalued nowadays and I believe it’s a safe leap of logic to say all these growing outlets for communication only exacerbate the social anxiety epidemic.
However, with the rise of all the different social media platforms, I find a new kind of anxiety arising: social media anxiety. Daily, we have to check our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram…and these are only the most popular ones! If you aren’t active on these sites, most people will think of you as a nobody. Zilch, zero, nada. You could be the most charismatic, charming person, but if you don’t tweet your butt off, no one will give you a second look. Wouldn’t it be easier sometimes to just connect and interact in an organic, natural way? The way people have been interacting for, uh, ever?
So is there a solution to all this social media mayhem? Unfortunately not. It’s the 21st century and we’re stuck with it. But I would say to learn the most effective uses of each platform (Facebook is for connecting with people you know, Twitter sets a more conversational tone, Tumblr can help to drive traffic to other platforms, etc.) and utilize the ones that will best fit your needs. Know your audience and know how to reach them. And try your best to block out the other 3.2 million (approximately) social media sites you aren’t actively using.