Can Social Media Help with Social Anxiety Disorder?

What Is Social Anxiety Disorder?

Social Anxiety Disorder can cause a person who suffers from it to feel an overwhelming sentiment of anxiety, a persistent and intense fear of being watched and judged by others and a trepidation of being around people to name a few. Social Anxiety, also known as a “Social Phobia” can be as debilitating to cause a person to retreat to being alone with the inability to work, go to school or being out in public.

There is a steady struggle between the people they “see” themselves as becoming and the “dark passenger” that rids them of anxiety and fear. This unrelenting fight usually occurs on a daily basis which can cause a person who endures SAD (Social Anxiety Disorder) unable to cope, yet fully aware of what is happening to them.

Social Anxiety Disorder invades more people than we are aware of, and although it is considered a Mental Health Disorder, the stigma usually wrapped in the “if we can’t see it, it doesn’t exist” mentality of our society, precedes to keep a perpetual cycle of silence.

Fortunately, there are ways of coping with this disorder. One of the most popular is cognitive behavioral therapy, which consists of the core, exposure therapy. This type of therapy helps the person to overcome what frightens them by exposing them to their fears through various stages. This is said to build confidence, coping techniques and to create constructive responses.

How Social Media May Help

Social Media is the interconnections of human beings from the comforts of their “safe zones”, whether it is work or home or where ever else we choose to interact online. Through this newest way of communication, people are in control unlike ever before.

Social Networks are birthed daily and those that have grown to see true popularity have surprised many people on how effective socializing online has become an important part of our culture. Social Media has even persuaded other mediums to take part in its expanding phenomenon.

Clearly, Social Media is no longer considered a fad and has intercepted the way we want to relate to other people and how we want to do it. Given that, we the people see how much we can manage the way we connect with other people while enabling us to feed our innate human behavior.

Since people who are diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder feel most comfortable alone, this does not imply that it is what they want. Rather, people who suffer from SAD, yearn to interact and to make friends.

Perhaps, Social Media can serve an even greater purpose by slowly integrating socializing online to a person with this type of unrest. We could even speculate that perhaps, one of the many reasons Social Media has become so popular is due to the massive amount of people plagued by this disorder. Besides its convenience and global reach, Social Media can also play an important role to help heal those who suffer from the silence of this all too common turmoil.

Ever since the beginning of time, people have gone in search of a sense of belonging and of other human interactions, it is abnormal for our species to want to be alone all of the time. We are social creatures after all.

Mixing Social Media and Social Anxiety Disorder could be a great start to begin a coping process that eases a person into forming connections with people; they would otherwise shy away from in offline situations. It could also help increase their feeling of hope, ease off the depression associated with SAD, and slowly build confidence by being in control of when they have the ability to socialize. Social Media could be the first step to lesson the feeling of loneliness and heighten their emotions of belonging or being “a part” of something. This could begin the demise of the “dark passenger” and contribute to gaining a sense of control over the person they deservingly see themselves to be.

Could Social Media play a role in helping those who suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder? Or do you think this is a recipe for disaster?

Here is an interesting Infograph with Facts and Stats about Social Anxiety Disorder

About Erin Ryan

+Erin Ryan is a writer for various Social Media & Tech blogs and currently works as the Director of Social Media for the Internet Marketing Company, Wikimotive. Erin has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date.

Creator and head editor of Socialeyezer She enjoys finding the latest in social media, tech and geek culture. Erin often expresses her thoughts and opinions on TheErinRyan. Connect through Erin Ryan's About.me Profile

Comments

  1. This is an interesting post and yes, there is some evidence that people with social anxiety can be helped by the use of social media. However, social means social – and that’s the issue with people who have this anxiety problem. Even being social online presents them with difficulty – however, the first steps are often easier than with “real world” social activity. What the current state of the evidence suggests is that just like “real world” treatment for this disorder, the use of online social media to help deal with the condition only works when it is done under the supervision of a qualified therapist or psychologist. Doing it alone doesn’t always seem to work.

  2. As ridiculous as it sounds, I know a girl who had social anxiety to the point she wouldn’t come out of the house, so she survived via social media. She even wrote a blog post, “How Social Media Saved My Life”!

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  6. whitney says:

    So are you saying it’s ok that I’m afraid and would rather be talking to people on my computer than face to face? I don’t want to be like this and I know that I’m not normal. People make fun of me all the time and it hurts and I just don’t know what to do. I cry all the time and the stress is killing me.

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