Social anxiety is defined as the overwhelming fear of social situations, which include, but are not limited to anxiety from phone calls, shopping, conversing, excessive sweating, fear of criticism and panic attacks. They may also be affected by other mental health issues such as depression, panic disorders and generalised anxiety disorders. This negatively affects their relationships, where it can hinder and prevent them from establishing friendships and can constantly influence their general plans and lifestyle.
It is ultimately no surprise that over the last couple of years, social anxiety has played a massive role in our lives, especially as a result of COVID-19. The constant lockdowns and lack of social interaction has proved to be a massive factor in our social lives. Whilst some introverted individuals valued the sudden alone time, many people (especially those of a more extroverted nature) have found the lifestyle change to have massively depleted their social lives.
This hinderance has undeniably attracted the attention of many, including medical professionals, where they suggested focusing your energy into others in a social situation and avoiding social media as a vast quantity of the content falsely illustrates this image that other people’s lives are perfect, when it is highly likely that they are struggling similarly; Being honest about your struggles not only gives yourself a sense of comfort but can also help others who are experiencing the same issues. It brings an aura of relatability, where even a range of media has been centred around this issue, including the renowned distinctive Netflix series “Komi Can’t Communicate”, where a student struggles to make 100 friends due to her profuse social anxiety.
Ultimately social anxiety will likely be something most people will have to experience as a result of societal pressures and post COVID-19. With the constant rise of coronavirus cases and the emergence of the Omicron variant, we can hope that we will have the resources to be able to adapt to our large range of situations.