Sunday

Social Networking Anxiety

It’s a feeling of fear or nervousness that one gets similar to when he or she is preparing to make an important phone call.  They may rehearse what they are going to say over and over again until it comes out natural.  Their heart may be pounding, their breathing rapid, and body sweating before making phone calls.  For some people they get so nervous about it, that they leave it up to someone else to do it.  People who have social networking anxiety issues have the same problem.  They are stressed about the idea that they have to communicate thought via email or text.  They worry over whether their spelling and grammar is appropriate.  They wonder if the sound of their email will be positively or negatively received.
Networking online is not an easy task for those who are not use to communicating with people via email and text.  They may freeze up not knowing what to say or how to say it.  They may avoid providing details when asked a question for fear that they may not come across in their email as intelligent.  There are some things that you should consider doing that may help with your social networking anxiety.
Practice makes perfect.
The more you practice writing emails the better you will get at it.  There are plenty of online resources that explain the dos and don’ts of writing emails.  Some of the sites also offer samples of business emails you can use for various dilemmas.  Try doing a search under “email etiquette”, “how to write emails” or “how to text.”  Once you have a few you like, reword them, and save them as files on your computer.  Then when you are ready to make some online connections, have a dilemma, or some other need you can easily use your form letters without the worry of drafting up something new.
Maintain your internet relationships.
Often people will cramp up when trying to communicate with a friend because so much time has passed since they last talked so they don’t know what to say.  If you send an email to your friends at least once a week, it won’t be hard to send the next email.  Unlike a phone or in-person conversation, you can just say, “Hey just touching base.  You were on my mind.  How are things?”  You don’t need a lot of sentences to get your point across.
Avoid unnecessary worries and fears.
Some people become offended when they don’t receive an immediate response back from their email.  They may falsely assume that the person didn’t like what they said or is angry with them.  Most often people are communicating with many others and tend to forget to answer one another’s questions or respond to their comments.  It doesn’t hurt to send a follow-up email.  Now if you are rejected a few times than you can take that to mean that this person is trying to ignore you.
Don’t be anxious over responses.
You can easily stress yourself over waiting for an email response and you can turn someone off if you send too many follow-up emails as well.  To make your wait a little less stressful, keep yourself busy doing things offline rather than online.  It’s too simple to surf through sites and back to your email again.  If the response is taking a lot longer than you thought, follow-up with a phone call or email your phone number requesting that the person call you.
Check your insecurities.
Because email and texting tend to be impersonal and lacks the intimacy that an in-person meeting provides, you can become increasingly insecure about what a person is doing when they aren’t chatting with you.  You can curb your insecurities and keep anxiety issues at bay, if you would simply ask to meet with them in person.  Be honest and tell them you don’t enjoy emailing or texting and that you prefer a phone call. 
Social networking anxiety issues can easily be prevented if you just ease your mind of the worry and stress that tend to occur when using technology.  You can control how you communicate with others on a regular basis by simply telling them what kind of response you prefer.  Some people enjoy texting all their responses, others enjoy email, and then of course traditionalists love talking on the phone or going out together.  Tell those who you meet online from the beginning what kind of communication you enjoy and if they sincerely want to be a part of your world they will take into consideration how you like to communicate.
By Nicholl McGuire

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Over 20 years office work experience, six years completed college coursework, background in print media and communications, recognized for exceptional attendance and received merit increase for past job performance, self-published author and part-time entrepreneur, Internet marketing and social media experience. Interned for non-profit organization, women's group and community service business. Additional experience: teaching/training others, customer service and sales. Learn more at Nicholl McGuire and Nicholl McGuire Media

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