You can stay in touch with your family, friends, office colleagues and a large number of online followers through different social networking websites such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. The engagement of people on these popular social networking sites has increased considerably in the last decade or so. These social networking channels have given an opportunity to the uses to remain connected with their near and dear ones.
Popular social media platforms are accessed by millions of users across the world. Every user wants their preferred audience to like, comment and tag their pictures and expect their followers to retweet their content. In the absence of sufficient likes and comments, these users suffer from anxiety and addiction.
Compare and Despair factor is the main cause of anxiety
One of the major factors which leads to social media anxiety among the online users is the compare and despair factor. Pictures of your friends vacationing on a foreign locale could make your weekend outing images pale in comparison. Comparing yourself with others on social media sites can lead to anxiety. Feelings of self- consciousness, competitiveness, one-upmanship and pervasive thoughts contribute to obsessive-compulsive disorder among the users. Further, the quality of your followers and the number of shares, likes and retweets can be easily twisted to support negative thoughts.
Fear of being sidelined or kept out can lead to anxiety among online users
Pictures of a party where the user was not invited or of a marriage where they weren’t able to attend due to a hectic work schedule can take a toll on their self -esteem. It has been observed that people who use social media are more anxious. That anxiety stems from the fact that users are not being able to access the content when they are offline. In a sense, users have become completely addicted to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Researchers have found that the longer time you spend on social media platforms, the more likely you are to be depressed. Anxious and depressed people like to spend maximum time on different social media sites.
The addiction with social media can be understood from the fact that people who use Facebook are more likely to be unhappy than those who use it less. People often compare their real lives to idealized versions of their friends online lives. People usually check their Facebook or Instagram account once a day. The likes and comments on these sites are seen as positive reinforcement.
A different study has suggested that two -thirds of the people suffer from anxiety when they are not able to access their social media accounts. Both Facebook and Twitter are impacting the life of those people who are offline. A study from the University of Chicago has found that social media is more addictive than cigarettes and harder to abstain from than a cocktail might be. However, one must be aware of the pitfalls and the dangers to social media.
However, the benefits of social media far outweigh its disadvantages. You get an opportunity to share happy memories in the form of pictures, videos and stories, which really is amazing.