Understanding and Dealing with Social Media Posting Anxiety

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Author Name: Beth Rush
Date: Tuesday January 16, 2024

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Some people publish a social media post but feel a sudden wave of anxiety. Others don’t even make it to the posting step, deciding that it’s better to keep their profiles blank. If you have the same experience, know that you aren’t alone. If anything, social media posting anxiety is becoming more and more prominent in today’s world.

What Is Posting Anxiety?

Posting anxiety is the fear of putting up posts on social media. It can be considered a branch of social media anxiety, but this syndrome is focused more on the publishing aspect. There’s also the factor of looking at the metrics. It’s common to check out the likes, comments and shares that a post received, but it’s another thing to worry about the level of interaction you’re receiving.

People post various content nowadays, especially with the rise of short-form video content on social media. As a result, so much of a person’s life is documented online. What’s published on their profile becomes a reflection of their actual identity and life events.

Many people experience social media posting anxiety because they fear how people online would react to what they publish. The possibility of being seen negatively by the people in your network and beyond causes so much stress.

The People Behind Posting Anxiety

General anxiety usually stems from what other people may think about you and social media posting comes pretty close to that idea. Here’s a rundown of the people online who may trigger your posting anxiety.

1. Family

Do you have your parents added to your social media? Or are you connected with some relatives who look up your posts? Knowing that these loved ones are seeing your online activity can often make you think twice about sharing specific posts. 

Experiencing posting anxiety because your family is especially apparent when they are critical of your character. Family members hold each other to a higher standard regarding what they share online, wanting to keep things appropriate.

2. Social Circle

Social media, especially for young people, is a way to connect with their group of friends and meet new ones. These online connections can be quite meaningful, especially when you build up a community that you value. However, this builds up a persona that lacks authenticity.

As a result, you may have anxious thoughts about whether your friends actually like you or just like the idea of you based on your content. How your circle will react to your post can make you selective or completely hesitant in what you share.

3. Employers

About 70% of employers assess the social media profile of their applicants. The practice of screening is frowned upon. Most profiles online contain details regarding gender, sexual orientation, political views, religious stands and more, after all.

Despite how the information gathered from your social media profile can form hiring bias, many recruiters continue to run such an assessment. Posting anxiety can come from knowing that what you publish can influence whether you secure a job or not.

Social media folder on their phone

4. Strangers

There are around 4.48 billion social media users worldwide, all with their own attitudes and opinions. Many can be critical of people they hardly know, scolding them over words or images they happen to come across. Posting anxiety comes from the possibility of getting judged or cyberbullied by strangers online.

5. Yourself

About 43% of teens post their accomplishments on social media, which usually sets a standard for what you post. There’s a notion that what you publish has to be something good or successful to be worth sharing. Thus, many people may talk themselves down for something they want to post because they believe that it isn’t up to par with other people’s profiles.

Coping With Anxiety on Social Media Posting

Posting anxiety can be challenging to experience, especially in an age where everything is digital. However, there are ways that you can cope and continue using social media.

1. Limit Social Media Time

Exposure to social media can be a big factor in your posting anxiety, so try to regulate your total use of it. Experts recommend using social media for only 30 minutes a day or less. If you find it difficult to cut back immediately, consider decreasing your phone use in increments. You can also seek settings and apps that can aid you in lessening your social media time.

2. Find Social Media Alternatives

As you cut back on social media a little more, find some alternative hobbies that will take up your time. If you want to keep using your phone, photography or creative writing can be a great skill to pick up. To stay away from your mobile devices, go on a nature hike or a cooking class. The experience can be fruitful off-screen time.

3. Work On Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a key concept when dealing with anxious feelings, so find ways to exercise this. For instance, yoga entails deep breathing, which can help you manage your mental health and keep you calm. The physical movement that comes with this mindful exercise also gets your body moving.

Person taking a photo on their camera

4. Change Your Posting Privacy

If you come back to your social media and you still feel a twinge of posting anxiety, consider changing the privacy settings on your profile. The internet is a very public space, but there are options to limit who can see your posts. Stay connected with the people that you’re comfortable sharing certain thoughts and milestones with. Move away from those who trigger your anxiety.

5. Shift Your Perspective

Posting anxiety involves a mindset that’s dependent on other people. You care about how other people see you and their opinions of you, which is normal. But it’s not healthy. Strive to care less about what others may think. By shifting your perspective, you can make sharing a social media post more enjoyable.

Overcoming Social Media Posting Anxiety

Recognizing your posting anxiety is a commendable first step to overcoming it. It can take some time for many people, especially if social media is a significant part of their life. Take the tips above and try to relieve the anxious feelings you’re experiencing.

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