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Unstrung Harp

Social anxiety online

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I get nervous posting here because I feel like I have no right to join the conversation, since anything I say will be boring and/or redundant. Any time someone replies to my post I'm so grateful that someone has paid attention to me. I'm trying to make the effort to post more...and one day I will even be brave enough to try the chat room.

 

A good deal of what gets posted here in response to forum questions or blog posts is some version of "yeah, me too." But that doesn't make those things boring or repetitive, since much of the value of this place is in realizing that each of us is not alone with our craziness. You have every right to join the conversation. The more the merrier  :)

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i feel the same way, what you said about always feeling like posting is a risk.  i also re-read and make sure that whatever i write makes sense and cannot come across as offensive.  i'm always afraid of looking stupid, attention-seeking, or getting in trouble for something i said.  So it definitely extends online as well as in person.  And perhaps (this is coming from someone who spends more time online than face-to-face socializing with others) there is slightly more anxiety at times because 1) you don't know who is reading this 2) you don't know how they'll take it and 3) there is no vocal inflection on the internet, so it's harder at times to interpret a stranger's meaning from words alone.

 

Also, being younger and more inexperienced, i feel like someone will eventually call me out for that, and now that this is going to say "edited" on it, i'm anxious that people will assume i've said something stupid and then quickly tried to erase it.

 

Oh anxiety...

Edited by will_graham

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And perhaps (this is coming from someone who spends more time online than face-to-face socializing with others) there is slightly more anxiety at times because 1) you don't know who is reading this 2) you don't know how they'll take it and 3) there is no vocal inflection on the internet, so it's harder at times to interpret a stranger's meaning from words alone.

 

For me though, when I do talk to people, body language and facial expressions say a lot.  When writing you don't have that. 

 

I do want to say that I prefer writing over talking, but when I do talk to people, I realize that the body language and all helps me understand them better.

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My anxiety is mostly in person, but is definitely still there online or in texts/emails/whatever. I reread all messages numerous times before I send them, unless they're to close friends or family. I tend to read into everything way too much, so I view my messages in the same way and worry if others will misinterpret them.

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when i was younger i talked a lot online because it was safe, i could even talk on the phone, it was just in person. around 18 i started getting much much more anxious though and only talked to my boyfriend and my mother and couldnt even look at an email. im still like that, seeing i have messages or a voicemail or something, i avoid it like the plague. posting on forums is very scary too and i get scared when people message me. i'm trying to get better though, im very lonely now so i try to keep in touch online with one or two people but its still very nerve racking.

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The perceived anonymity of writing OL is so appealing to me, sometimes I can't get enough. Yes, I will read, and reread my posts and comments indefinitely.

 

The anonymity makes it easier to open up, which I don't really do very well IRL, anymore. When I was younger, my friend-base was composed of fellow emotionally/mentally. .  . different people. So, when we needed to talk, we could talk without feeling judged.

 

As an adult with a family, I have lost most of those connections (purposefully, in some cases, but not in all). I have friends I can trust, but, this is a part of me I know they know they don't fully understand. And, I guess I don't understand what it's like NOT to feel emotionally/mentally "different."

 

Strangely, I'm not that bad with random chit-chat or speaking up briefly in class. I have about a minute-and-a-half window before shit gets weird, and I spazz out. My RL stranger-danger-go-to personas are:

"surprisingly nice for the way she looks" lady, or, "Don't f*ck with me or my family or you will witness something ugly" lady.

 

I'm an all right friend, but I know it's had to have patience wth someone who is constantly wrapped up in their own thoughts and can't get out even when they really, really want to.

 

I overanalyze every moment of social interactions. Sometimes years out. I hate online chat with people I know. I am always "unavailable" or invisible. Eff that, people. Email. I don't even like talking on the phone unless I have a glass of wine and a cigarette in my hand. And it's not always practical/realistic to have a glass of wine and/or a cigarette handy.

 

Anonymously, online, I don't know how I appear, and it's the only place I don't get so worked up about it.

Until (and there always seems to be a "when") things get too personal, too subdermal, too far into those dark f*cking alleys of my life/mind that I don't want /am not prepared to go down. Then I freak out and delete everything. But I know none of this can really be undone. And somehow that's still comforting because there's no other place to say some of these things wihtout upending your life.

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i have social anxiety on line.  Crazyboards is the only place i go on line to. i get anxious about what im saying and if said right or hey did i just fuck up. not having the confidence also doesnt help.

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Totally anxious online. It's not as bad as in person because at least none of you can see that I'm not saying anything (if that makes sense). It's worse than in person because you never know who's reading or what they've figured out about me. The phone and chat/IM are worst of all... immediate response required with no body language to read. Even still, I get super anxious just about posting: it's the whole... who cares what *I* say, right? I worry that I'm not making my point nicely/politely and I end up with super long posts, then I worry no one will read them because they're too long... There's no winning. Email is easier than posts because it's not going out to a million people.

 

Glad I'm not the only one though.

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i have social anxiety online, too. when i was in middle school and high school i could only talk to people over the internet, but when i was 18 i started getting scared of all contact, stopped even checking my email. i didn't talk to anyone online or respond to messages, even reading them makes me scared, it feels too invasive or personal like any contact with others makes them too close to me and it starts to feel like they can see me or something. i don't even like to look at pictures of people on facebook because i feel like they might know or they might see me. 

 

i am trying to be better though. i have begun trying to actively put myself out there online. there are maybe one or two people online i am comfortable talking to, its still like pulling teeth with everyone else though. even posting here is scary to be honest and if ssomeone sent me a message it would be very alarming.

 

i saw an npr article about managing anxiety when playig online video games :) i thought it was funny because i have a few games i am scared to play because i realized there were real people playing! you're not alone.

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I don't think I would have made it through the 90's if it weren't for my family getting a computer. My anxiety is mainly in person. It's like people's faces, expressions, body language (smells, even), hearing words, tones, are an overload of my senses. I cannot sustain conversations for very long because of that. I can't process all of that information and end up behind in the convo and have to try and fake it and eventually say the wrong thing and be embarrased by that. :(

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I don't do well in conversation either.  I communicate better and more effectively through a computer than anything else.

 

 

ETA:  It is easier/better especially when I am in a shitty mood or very angry.  Then I write whatever I want, save it, then when I am calmer come back and edit it before sending an appropriate response.

Edited by melissaw72

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I'm fairly bad with this as well. It's easy to post on a forum like this (even though I usually have to read my post several times through before posting, and then discard it if I'm dissatisfied with it or realize that I'm not really contributing to the discussion) but I have trouble sending messages to someone one-on-one.

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3 hours ago, nervousbat said:

and I can't do Facebook, I don't feel like I'm "normal" enough to go on there.

I have felt this way for years because I didn't want people finding me (from HS and college) ... I want to forget the people, but not the experiences I had in college, which were all really really good ones.

But recently I have been reading along with my mother on her FB page, and want to start up on that.  I want my mother's help though because of all the securities and stuff to keep my page private.  She has it set that way, and I want it to be that way also.  So someday soon, she is going to help me set up a page.  If I can't handle it then I will close it down ... I'd like to give it a try though.

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Depends on the platform. If it's Facebook where everyone knows exactly who I am, then yes but if it's on some random forum or a site like Reddit, then not really. Although, once I use the platform enough (make enough posts) then I start to feel it since I feel like now it's the real me out there and not some anonymous person.

But compared to in person, the anxiety is quite minimal. I do recheck what I write and stuff and hope no one disagrees with me but it's manageable for the most part.

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