In our increasingly digitized world, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. It provides a platform for connectivity and self-expression but concerns about the potential impacts of social media on mental health, mainly the development of social anxiety, are gaining prominence. Overuse of social media and dependence on the virtual world negatively affects the human mind and body.

The digital paradox lies in the dual nature of social media platforms. While intended to boost communication and connection, the curated content often contributes to feelings of inadequacy, fostering a sense of disconnection and social anxiety. This has become a platform for showing off one’s blessings which, in turn, affects the people who are deprived of those blessings in their lives. Because there is a chance of faking one’s lifestyle, people get into depression at times thinking about their own failures and bad luck. Also, a brutal competition is going on among people which does not bring any positivity in anyone’s life. A vital factor linking social media to social anxiety is the dominant culture of continuous comparison. Users encounter meticulously crafted images and narratives that highlight the positive aspects of others' lives. This creates an illusion of perfection. This continuous comparison can lead to self-hatred and contribute to the growth of social anxiety.

The prevalent "Fear of Missing Out" (FOMO) is another psychological phenomenon heightened by social media. As platforms showcase the exciting events and achievements of others, individuals may feel excluded or left behind. The fear of not measuring up to societal standards or missing out on social gatherings exaggerates anxiety, affecting mental well-being.

Online authentication, often sought through likes, comments, and shares, plays a substantial role in the landscape of social media. While positive interaction can increase self-esteem, the dependence on online validation can become a two-edged sword. The absence of acknowledgment or engagement can lead to feelings of rejection or inadequacy, intensifying social anxiety.

The digital dominion is not resistant to the darker side of human interactions and cyberbullying is a relevant concern. Social media platforms can become a breeding ground for negativity, harassment, and judgment. Individuals exposed to online abuse might experience heightened social anxiety as the terror of public scrutiny and criticism pervades their digital interaction.

Though there is not a direct connection between social media and social anxiety disorder, the use of social media can contribute to social anxiety and deteriorate the individual’s symptoms. Oftentimes, people with social anxiety use social media as a means of evading face-to-face communication which may then cause symptoms of anxiety and uneasiness.

The key link between social media anxiety and social anxiety disorder is the absence of in-person interaction. While people interact with others behind a screen, this gives comfort to somebody who has social anxiety. It may also deter their aptitude for interacting with others physically. In other words, social media and use of the internet, along with a terror of social interaction and inspiration to evade face-to-face contact, are linked with higher social anxiety.

Acknowledging the possible link between social media and social anxiety, it is vital to emphasize strategies for justifying this adverse effect. Practicing digital mindfulness, restraining screen time, and curating a positive online environment can help foster a healthier relationship with social media. The relationship between social media and social anxiety is complex, influenced by factors such as constant comparison, FOMO, online endorsement, and cyberbullying. As we steer the digital landscape, using social media with awareness and intentionality becomes essential. By nurturing a culture of legitimacy and promoting positive digital habits, we can try to minimize the impact of social media on mental health, forming and fosetring a more balanced online environment.