A Brief Note on Social Media Anxiety

Lately, I’ve seen posts and spoken to people a lot about social media anxiety and this concept that many of us pretend to be happy on these various platforms. Sociologists have called this impression management. One in particular, Erving Goffman, developed the idea of “Dramaturgy” in which we are like actors, dividing our lives into “front stage” and “backstage” versions of ourselves.

Fewer people get to see us backstage, where we may undergo costume changes, get into character, practice our lines and so on. The front stage becomes a rehearsed, crafted performance. Facebook and other socials have simply become an extension of these observable human behaviors.

Most of my life, I felt like I had to wear a costume and play a part I didn’t audition for. That changed in February. My personality is pretty much exactly the same. My look has obviously changed. And I like to believe my temperament is improving.

Like most people, I just want to make today better than yesterday if at all possible. I’ll stop there before I sound way too platitudinous. I just want to add this: I try to keep things upbeat on here, but if I’m having a rough day, I might let people know about it. Though, I think it’s perfectly natural that we try to present our best selves in social situations.


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