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  • Writer's pictureStacy G. Smith, MS, LPC

Overcoming Anxiety: Tip #24

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Youtube - the social media list is growing! While some may steer clear of these sites, others have accounts on most (if not all) of them! We may find ourselves checking our phones dozens of times a day, trying to stay on top of what others are posting, the latest social news, and even planning our own updates with photos, statuses, and videos..

While social media can be entertaining and fun, it can also be anxiety provoking. Social media naturally invites social comparisons, which, as you may remember from Tip #5, can lead to anxiety, low self-esteem, and self-doubt. We may see various posts and think:

  • "She looks so happy! I wish I could be that happy."

  • "She has such a large group of close friends. If only I had that..."

  • "Look at how many trips she's going on! I could never afford that!"

  • "His job sounds incredible. Mine sounds awful compared to his!"

  • "Look how many 'likes' and views her post got! Mine never get as many!"

And so on and so forth...

In a matter of seconds, we can go from feeling calm, relaxed, and even relatively happy, to sad, frustrated, anxious, and perhaps angry! What we often forget in these moments is that we are only seeing a snapshot of someone's life through these postings. Most individuals feel more comfortable posting exciting, fun, and happy moments, rather than sad and upsetting ones. We forget that everyone experiences tough moments. No one can be 100% happy, 24 hours, 7 days per week. If you know someone who is (for a fact), let me know! I would love to meet them and discover their secret!

Taking a time out from social media comes in many forms. First, think (honestly) about how often you use these sites, and how they make you feel. Next, decide on what your time out will look like. Some may choose to go an entire month without looking at a single site (commonly called a "social media cleanse"), while others may choose to spend 30 minutes, once per day, to check all their platforms, and that's it. Yet, others may decide to eliminate one of their social media accounts for good (if you are on 4 different sites, you may be just fine only holding on to 3). Decide on a time out that works best for you - but remember, decrease your use enough so that it is outside your comfort zone.

Taking this time out can help us feel more grounded. While we may not be caught up on every single post, we will realize our day will go on, we will not crumble, and we will learn to appreciate our own ups and downs, without comparing them to those of others - just another good way to feel more comfortable in our own skin.


DISCLAIMER: The blog posts shared on contain the opinions of Stacy Smith, MS, LPC, and do not reflect the opinions of any organizations or affiliates. While Stacy is a licensed mental health professional, all blog posts on her site are for informational purposes only, and are never a substitute for professional advice catered to your individual needs. Stacy Smith is not liable for any diagnosis, treatment plans, or decisions made based on the information presented on this website. Furthermore, commenting on posts does not mean a treatment relationship has been established with Stacy Smith.​

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