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Friday, 27 September 2013

Is Social Media a Band-Aid for Social Anxiety or Is It A Possible Treatment

The thing about social anxiety is this...it's really hard to find people struggling with it because we are all shut up in our houses. Daily I am bombarded with studies about Social Media and how it is creating an environment of anti-social behaviour among families.  It is not uncommon to see people walking down the street checking their online presence or sitting in a restaurant with each person peering at their phone.  I agree people are getting to engrossed in the virtual life and not engaging in the real world enough.  That being said, without social media I would not be making the strides that I am in my own journey.  The people that I have met through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other sites have encouraged me and inspired me through things that people in my "real world" could never truly understand.  Without social media to give me a soap box to stand on to shout out my discontentment at the world I might feel smaller than I do.  Without social media I would not have to strength to tell others what I am struggling with and in turn listen to their concerns with their own lives.  I think of the famous recluses of the past Greta Garbo, Emily Dickinson, J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee, what effect would social media have had on their lives. Would their work have been more brilliant from the benefit of being able to share ideas with others, or does their genius stem from their isolation.  I think social media may be a double edged sword. For those individuals that are out there in the world able to socialize and have a life it may be stunting their social skills. For those of us that are forced to observe life from the sidelines I think it is a lifeline, forever pulling us back into society.  I am hopeful that whatever tool you have at your disposal today, be it social media, a phone or the opportunity to get out of the house...use it.....push yourself...my thoughts and prayers are with your always.