Disconnection Anxiety from Social Media

11 March, 2020
Being dependent on social media can cause disconnection anxiety. In this article, we'll tell you all about this. Keep reading to learn more.

Not having access to the internet and social media is a reality for people around the world. However, for some, social networks are a part of daily life. In addition, it’s how some people relate to others and find their place in the world. As a result, not being able to talk to others through social media is called disconnection anxiety.

The power of social networks

Since its birth in the 70’s, the internet revolution has made a huge psychosocial impact. With the entry of social networks, the way we communicate and understand human relationships has changed significantly.

Social networks offer lots of different services. For example, you can make your own space. You can also share information with the rest of the world. In addition, you can create group chats, send instant messages, and even find a partner.

That is, social networks are web pages that let individuals create personal profiles. Then, they can use that site to start or increase online communication.

Although there are lots of advantages to using social networks, the psychologists Elena Santamaría and Rufino Meana also talk about their drawbacks.

 Disconnection Anxiety from Social Media

For them, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or WhatsApp have a great alienating power. Instead of communicating, they can trap people inside themselves, enslaving them.

“Very often, we forget that in social networks, there are networks and society. If the society doesn’t work, then social networks don’t either.”

– Alfredo vela –

Disconnection anxiety: a new disorder?

Disconnection anxiety from social networks is the set of symptoms, derived from fear, that happens from not being connected to events, experiences and conversations that are taking place in the environment.

It’s a newer term, but there are already lots of studies that call it a new disorder. Disconnection anxiety is one of the new issues that are emerging in the 21st century. In fact, this is because of new technologies and the use of smartphones.

The psychologists Enrique Echeburúa and Paz de Corral understand that disconnection anxiety causes symptoms of dependence. In addition, they explain that the immediacy and ease of multitasking is what causes addiction.

However, what triggers disconnection anxiety? The answer could be “nomophobia” or the fear that comes from cell phone addiction. In other words, it’s the fear of not being in contact with technology. Therefore, this causes disconnection anxiety.

Teenagers, the group most vulnerable to disconnection anxiety

In short, for many people, social networks are the only way to access their personal relationships. Not being able to access these networks by not having internet can cause effects similar to dependency or addiction.

 Disconnection Anxiety from Social Media

High heart rate, headaches and stomach pain are some of the physical reactions. On the other hand, it can also cause obsessive thoughts, as well as nervousness, panic attacks, and disconnection anxiety.

In a world where social media is huge, the risk of suffering from disconnection anxiety is high. However, teenagers are the most vulnerable group.

Teenagers run the risk of not being aware  of the reach that social networks can have, and they don’t understand their dimensions fully. Adolescence is a stage of growth and emotional instability. Therefore, dependence on social media can cause serious problems for their development.

  • Echeburúa, E. y Corral, P. (2009). Las adicciones con o sin droga: una patología de la libertad. En E. Echeburúa, F.J. Labrador y E. Becoña (eds.), Adicción a las nuevas tecnologías en adolescentes y jóvenes (pp. 29-44). España: Madrid.
  • González-Jiménez, A.J., López-Martínez, M.J, Zapata-Boluda, R.M., Cala, V.C. y Dalouh, R. (2016). Investigación educativa y salud transcultural en contextos multiculturales. Edual. España: Almería.