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July 9, 2021

Social Media is Great—but Not when you have Social Anxiety Disorder. 

 

 

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We are in a world of “click” technology, and a by-product of this is socialization.

People from all parts of the earth, even astronauts in space, are able to connect with anyone in just a few clicks. One click and families living across the state, or at the opposite ends of the world can now keep in touch. One click and voilà!

We can now meet people from places we could not reach in person. Basically, technology has really been a great advancement and is really helpful for everyone. I just have one problem: I have social anxiety disorder.

What does this have anything to do with technology? Well, while most people are naturally social beings, I am naturally unsocial.

Now that we can socialize through the internet and through different social media platforms, it’s become a requirement to have an online presence. Quite honestly, I would rather not be on any social media platform. I have issues when it comes to confidence and I have a ton of insecurities. Plus, I don’t want to be picked apart on social media.

But, that really isn’t an option. Interviews nowadays, which are most often online, include forms requiring at least one of your social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, or Linkedin. This is actually very reasonable since we can learn a lot more about a person based on their social profile online—it’s sort of like a background check, I guess.

My concern is that there is barely anything I show on my profile, and if I do, I limit it to people whose opinions matter to me. This becomes a challenge since many jobs need us to be active and knowledgeable on our social media platforms because many businesses now run based on how well we can connect with others.

I have a pretty good understanding of how social media works, and I know that it is important for business. I have no problem using it for my job, but I’m pretty bad at making my presence online known, and honestly, I would rather keep it that way. Ironic, I know.

You see, I am really bad at and deathly scared of confrontations, even arguments online cause me to have an attack. I can do audio and video calls for work, but I would be lying if I said I was comfortable. I would never let the discomfort be seen because it’s a part of my job to show up and I’m not about to disappoint my boss. But, every time I’d need to make a call, especially to someone I don’t know, I cry a little just to release a little of the anxiety I am feeling.

I am not confident. My avoidance of using social media platforms is my way of protecting myself. I cannot be judged if they don’t know I exist. But, the part of me born in this century knows that if I want a remote career, I need to have a social media presence.

I am following a famous influencer who is an inspiration to me, and recently, she mentioned that the person she is online is not the exact person she offline. She was able to explain it in a way that showed me it is possible to have a social media presence and not be deceitful. I can have an online alter ego—she doesn’t have to be the anxious girl, she can be the confident one. It’s not fake because my alter ego is my goal—she is someone I aim to become.

But how can I make that confident persona online? It is much easier said than done…at least for me. Because, even though it feels quite simple to post anything online, my inner unsociable person is still the person slowly exposing herself to the world trying to break through her shell with each click of her keyboard.

First, I need to research and educate myself in the field I want to pursue.

Second, I need to get out there and allow myself to feel uncomfortable because I need to do this to grow.

I recently made an Instagram account and I’m thinking of filling it with pictures I’m really proud of. Honestly, I ran out of ideas on what else I can do. I’m still working on it.

There are times when I tell myself that I am okay the way I am, but to become the woman I want to embody, I, at least, have to adapt.

I can’t exactly ask the world to stop being sociable or outgoing just because I am not. Socialization is one of the ways people have evolved and there’s no stopping it. I need to try to catch on.

One thing I do want to keep is my authenticity. I still want to be me. And starting with a few clicks and a lot of courage, I know, I will eventually be that “me.”

 

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