Fredericton — Megan Cunningham, 24, recently consulted Facebook — an immense online social network proven to increase feelings of inferiority and invite harmful comparison with the lives of others — for tips on dealing with social anxiety.
Cunningham, a self-professed introvert, reached out to her 1,102 Facebook friends in hopes of finding a solution to her crippling self-diagnosed anxiety that rears its ugly head in high-pressure social situations.
“Sometimes I feel nervous when I’m in big crowds, or if I have to give a presentation in class. It’s classic anxiety,” she told our reporter. “Or like, if someone close to me dies, I feel sad. Typical of my depression. So, even though a BuzzFeed quiz revealed that I’m an introvert, I decided to reach outward and get suggestions from thousands of amateur psychologists who know what I’m going through.”
After she posted the status and got the desired result — attention — Cunningham said she surprisingly felt no better.
“It was overwhelming how many random people replied to my Facebook status. Some said I should seek professional help, some said I should stay at home and watch movies, some said I just needed to get exercise, some people recommended medication. Unfortunately the status didn’t get as many ‘likes’ as I was hoping for, and no one mentioned how hot I look in my profile picture. That really upped my anxiety levels.
“One person even used the ‘angry face’ emoji rather than a heart or a thumbs-up. I just know I’m going to be up all night wondering why they would do that and what it meant.”
Cunningham informed us that a different BuzzFeed quiz once disclosed that she is also an “empath,” meaning she feels other people’s emotions. “It’s sort of like a spiritual gift, but also a curse. Any time I’m in a room with a lot of people, I can’t help but pick up on their vibes and energy. It’s exhausting. At some point I’m going to have to ask Facebook for tips on surviving life as an empath, too.”
One Facebook friend suggested that Cunningham just sign out of social media and read a book.
“I unfriended him right away,” said Cunningham. “I don’t need those types of toxic, negative energies weighing me down. I think I have enough to deal with. Like figuring out whether the Universe wants me to go on vacation in Cancun or Varadero… my life is tough.”