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Social media is as ubiquitous as it is new. In the last decade we have seen social media go from something “the kids use” to a standard modern communication device used by everyone, young and old. And now due to its use as a marketing tool for brands, it’s almost impossible to avoid.

Although there are still the rare peeps who refuse to partake, let’s assume that most of you reading this are on some form of social media. You and I both know how much time we spend on social media and its waaaay more than we’d like to admit to ourselves. But what is the effect of using social media regularly? Are our lives better, more connected?

I’ve written before about the powerful ‘like’ button and how it is normal to crave recognition and validation from our social networks. When it is used constructively, social media can be a way of sharing with people from all over the world. There are also a lot of really positive messages floating around the interweb with informal support groups cropping up all the time linking people with common ailments or struggles. I see a lot of you giving each other support and digital high fives out there.

But there is another side to social media that isn’t so happy-clappy. A lot of us are grappling with self-doubt and insecurity when it comes to our social media presence.

What should I post?

What kind of content will attract new followers?

What if this post doesn’t get any likes?

If you recognise these thoughts then perhaps you are struggling with Social Media Anxiety…

Social Media Anxiety is a real thing and some have even gone so far to name it a disorder although it isn’t classified in the DSM yet. In this article I found in Huffington Post, the author provides a quick checklist to go through to determine whether you might have Social Media Anxiety Disorder (SMAD):

1. Your cell phone becomes your number one accessory. If it’s attached to your hip 24/7 and you wish it was waterproof and in the shower with you, you might have SMAD.

2. If you send a Tweet to someone and they don’t @reply to you within six hours and you become anxious, you might be suffering from SMAD.

3. If your cell phone is with you at the dining table and everyone is texting while they’re eating and no one is saying a word, you might have SMAD.

4. If you post a cute photo on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or other photo-sharing sites with no one liking it or sharing it, however you still keep checking every few minutes or hour, you might have SMAD.

5. If you stare at your Twitter followers and the count goes down and it upsets you, you could be suffering from SMAD.

I already know that some of you can relate to these feelings. When I did a poll on Instagram, 90% of you said you wanted advice on how to manage social media anxiety.

So I made you a video!

Here is my latest vlog on social media anxiety and how to overcome it. Please get in touch with any comments or queries.


  • Leonie says:

    So valuable, thank you! Especially the checking in with your own humanity. That’s really the most vital part for me.