Is texting making you anxious? Here’s what it means – Times of India

We live in a digital world, surrounded by technological devices, social media platforms and several applications that claim to make our life easier. Not only has such advancements helped us stay connected with our loved ones, but it has also made us more efficient and effective.

However, it all comes with a price. Even something as common as ‘texting’ can lead to a lot of stress and anxiety in people. In the past, studies have highlighted how texting can be a daily source of anxiety for many people.

In a study conducted by Viber, it was found that 1 in 5 people struggle to keep up with message responses and almost 1 in 6 ignore all messages because they feel overwhelmed. The study emphasizes on the evolution of sending text messages, how it’s not just about a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’, rather a whole new world of colourful emojis that test people’s interpreting skills to a great level.

Text anxiety is real

As of now, text messaging is one of the most common means of communication.

We’re all part of multiple chat applications, are members of several chat groups, and there’s possibly no escape from it, if you’re an active member of the digital world. While initially, it may have been fun, exciting, may have given you a sense of belonging and togetherness, however, constant message notifications, infinite numbers of text exchanges has become exhausting.

Read also: How to stop overthinking about every little problem in your life

The continuous need to reply, feeling obligated to entertain texts on family, friends and work groups may have taken a serious toll on people’s mental health.

As per a Guardian report, millennials, those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s, “are feeling extremely overloaded”, are being called “the burnout generation”. Having been raised in a technological world, they cannot help but feel overwhelmed by the information and everything that social media has to offer.

What are the implications?

Texting may have helped us stay connected with our friends and family, but one is compelled to wonder whether it is worth it.

The need to always be available, the obligation to be responsive and the fear of being called out is what is leading to text anxiety. This in turn makes people avoid chats, indulge in delayed responses, but again the fear of being called out is also what is leading to anxiety.

Why is texting making you anxious in the first place?

Since the advent of digital devices that facilitated text messages, there has been a certain level of anxiety that has occured in people. Whether it involves responding to a text from your boss, or being kept on wait by a lover, the anxiety only goes upwards.

The pandemic did not seem to have helped either. Digital platforms were the only medium for us to communicate with the outside world, and text messages became the real deal. The social overload got to many of the people who were either new to such overwhelming emotions or those already suffering with anxiety.

Given that text messages demand a certain urgency, an immediacy to respond, that makes people all the more anxious.

Should you feel ‘obligated’ to respond?

When it comes to work or your family or even friends, you most often feel the need to ‘reply’. Even though you’re not in the right state of mind, are busy or have prior commitments, you just sometimes can’t overlook a text from someone you know.

But is there any reason why you should feel obligated to respond, or should you even feel the need to have an excuse for not texting immediately. Well, the answer lies within you. Prioritizing your mental well-being is what is most important. Feeling sorry, guilty only disrupt the peace of your mind, resulting in anxiety and a lot of stress.

Experts believe turning off your notifications, muting yourself from groups can in fact help you keep your calm. Taking a break from your phone, adhering to a natural environment, free of digital influences can help too.

But then again, there is the fear of missing out, FOMO as you popularly would know it as. This is one of the great reasons behind why one entertains messages they don’t want to check. The curiosity, the anxiety associated with missing out on an urgent update is what gets to people.

That being said, one must find answers from within. Listen to your heart and mind and look for ways to tend to your mental health.

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