Navigating social anxiety, a mental health condition which can highly impact an individual’s ability to connect with other people in a meaningful way. Social anxiety is not simply feeling awkward or nervous in social settings but rather involves a great fear of being judged, embarrassed or humiliated. Given today’s fast-paced and hyper-connected world, social interaction is not only limited to in-person meetings but also incorporates our online world. Our social lives have expanded dramatically due to the ever-increasing use of technology and various social media platforms that have become part of our daily routine

Social media and technology have revolutionised the way we connect with others. Moreover, they have been game-changers for facilitating communication between people from different corners of the world, with everything available at the tap of a button. However, there is also a very dark aspect to this virtual reality, which is contributing to a significant increase in anxiety, particularly social anxiety. 

Some of the ways in which social anxiety can impact us in this hyperconnected world include social comparison, fear of missing out (FOMO), increased expectations and loss of genuine connections. Unfortunately as a result, the popularity of social media has given rise to pressures for individuals to conform, fit in, and meet unrealistic expectations. This leaves many people feeling inadequate, isolated and overwhelmed, resulting in great strains on their mental health. Luckily, there are a few strategies that we can use in order to manage social anxiety and protect our mental health. 

  • Be more mindful

Try to include mindfulness exercises in your routine to help you be more aware of your thoughts and emotions. Acknowledging our anxious thoughts can help us reframe them. As well as develop healthier coping mechanisms, allowing us to respond to situations with a clearer head.

  • Be realistic with your expectations

Social media often presents a curated version of reality, making expectations very difficult for us to reach. Avoid using social media to compare yourself to others. Instead, come up with goals that are important for you and which are attainable. Remember that if at first, you don’t succeed, you are allowed to make mistakes and try again. 

  • Connect authentically

However, unfortunately, many online social interactions can be superficial in nature. Consequently, the absence of deep and meaningful connections can leave us feeling isolated and misunderstood. It’s important to reach out and connect to people who share your interests and passions to develop a support network around you.

  • Practice self-care

Self-care is essential for us to nurture our mental health. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, regular exercise and eating a balanced diet as a baseline for self-care. You might also wish to create some digital boundaries. Such as knowing when you need to take a break from social media to protect your wellbeing.

Navigating social anxiety can be challenging in today’s hyperconnected world. However, being patient with yourself and practising strategies such as those mentioned above can support you in managing your wellbeing in a better way. Putting consistent effort when faced with such challenges can help you feel more empowered. As you work towards feeling more comfortable in both online and offline social settings. Take note of your progress and celebrate your wins. As this can help you to feel more confident and motivated to reach your goals.

If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.

Pamela Borg is a counsellor who enjoys working therapeutically with adults experiencing various issues. These include general mental health and wellbeing, gender, sexuality, relationship issues.


Goodlives, M. (2023). Navigating Social Anxiety: Finding Comfort in a Connected World. Retrieved from:

Richard, D. (2023). The Anxiety Epidemic: Understanding Social Anxiety’s Impact and Empowering Ourselves to Thrive in a Connected World. Retrieved from: