Social Media Anxiety Disorder aka S.M.A.D. is REAL LIFE SHIT


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I called it that SOCIAL MEDIA ANXIETY is a real thing & now… it could very well be on it’s way to being a medically diagnosed issue.

It’s not yet, but it’s being talked about, & it’s literally being referred to as SMAD… aka social media anxiety disorder.

I am a total hypochondriac, but trust me when I say… I have it.

Right now, this minute, it’s streaming through my brain.

Why?? Because it’s 2:46pm as I type this, I haven’t gotten up an Instagram today… I am in sweats & stressing out over what the hell I am gonna post on Instagram. Everyone is at fashion week, so it’s not gonna be as cool as what they are throwing down. Also, my skin is breaking out & I am not feeling creative & I gotta get this post up QUICK before I have to go workout & then when I workout I will be sweaty and gross so I would literally have to change and get dolled up JUST to get an Instagram but Zack is busy today & I post too many mirror selfies & my palms are sweating just talking about.


fashionlush gingham style 2017

When Teen Vogue did a story about SMAD, featuring a therapist named Rachel Kazez who is actually offering help for this not-yet-disorder-disorder, I had to share with you guys.

Rachel says….

“It’s risky to compare your insides to someone else’s outsides. On social media, people post the best version of themselves. If you compare that to yourself, you are comparing it to your whole self — flaws, fears, and all.”


She also states it can be helpful connecting people who are going through similar issues, which is great & can definitely make the world seem much less lonely for those suffering, but unfortunately it has become more of a comparison tool that can crush confidence & cause depression.

Coming from someone prone to anxiety, I can attest to all of this.

People, myself include, are measuring their worth based on how many likes/comments/or saves an image gets. If I don’t get my image saved on Instagram, it actually makes me feel like my outfit was ugly, I didn’t look cute, & no one likes what I am putting down.

I actually shared with you guys a while back how social media literally killed my confidence for a good deal of time.

I am recovering, but it still plagues me big time. I can only imagine/fear what it’s like for young girls whose brains are still developing.

Kazes also brought up an interesting correlation between social media habits & drug habits…

“Social media and the ‘likes,’ retweets, and other plaudits that it instantly generates mimics the same mechanisms in a drug habit. The kick, the high is not dissimilar to the reward areas that fire up in your brain — like the amygdala and striatum — when you [use a substance],” she says.

That, my friends, scares the shit out of me.

Sadly though, it doesn’t surprise me. I know the high of a photo that does well, I chase that high every time I post on Instagram.

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ALSO- another thing touched on in the Vogue article is social media effects on our sleep/wake cycles. This is something I also touched on in this post… but it’s worth repeating.

The blue light our phone/computer emits mimics that of daytime & when you are on your computer/phone after the sun goes down, it kinda fucks everything up.

I am the most guilty of this. I have become an insomniac. My sleep/wake cycle is ass backwards & sadly for me, and other’s out there dealing with this, it will deteriorate our mental & physical health.

I can’t sleep till 4am sometimes, then I won’t wake up till 1 in the afternoon, & then I have to stay up late to make up for the time I slept in. THE MOST VICIOUS CYCLE that I literally can not break. I have tried & tried. It’s not healthy, I know this. I want to change it. I will continue to try… but when you’re wired at 11pm with a ton of work to do, it’s harder than you could imagine to just GO TO SLEEP.

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You know, this post sucks (there comes that self doubt anxiety creeping in about the quality of my content) cause I wish I could give you guys some really positive advice but that would just make me a huge ass hypocrite.

The best advice I can give you is that it’s not real. I SWEAR TO YOU, it’s not real. I know it looks real, I know it seems real, but it’s just not.

NEED SOME EXAMPLES, alright… gonna break down the truth behind a few of my latest Instagrams.

1. THIS LATERGRAM: dude, this was taken forever ago but I was feeling like shit yesterday, so I had to get something up & dug through the archives to find a photo I didn’t yet post. I actually have a rainy day folder on my phone for when I got nothing to post.

2. FLEA MARKET HEAT: I was actually seeking shade in this booth cause I almost fainted from the heat & was incredibly nauseous & shaky. We left 5 minutes after this was taken cause Zack was stressed about my health.

3. OCEAN POOP: stepped in dog poop at dog beach, went into the ocean to clean my feet… but decided I needed a gram for the day at the same time.

4. LATE NIGHT IKEA: not only did I drag my boyfriend to IKEA at 7:30pm on a Monday night, but also made him take photos of me in front of a vending machine… he was bummed cause so many people were making fun of me & we ended up arguing about it the whole way home.

5. BATHING SUIT PHOTOS… BY MY DAD: not ideal, but you gotta do what you gotta do. I was stressing the entire time about his angles, finding the light, made him pose in the same spot so all he had to do was press the go button. He was also double fisting with a bloody mary in the pool so I was stressing he was gonna drop my phone in the water. He also has the patience of a 2 year old, so would take three photos & then be done with me. It was like pulling teeth.


Be conscious about what you are seeing, don’t let it consume you, & although it can help make this world seem less small for those suffering by connecting with others going through the same thing… it’s still healthier for you to seek those connections IRL versus on the interwebs.

Now, gtg rush to try to get an Instagram live before I workout or else I may have a coniption. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL GUYS & I am def. a work in progress when it comes to S.M.A.D.

x, E

P.S. if you need more info about S.M.A.D., be sure to check out this ‘Coping w/ Social Media Anxiety Disorder’ pamphlet. It may or may not be a parody… but it’s actually pretty legit.

erica stolman social media anxiety disorder

What I’m Wearing:

gingham tie waist shirt dress | Public Desire x Lissy Roddy ankle boots | vintage aviator sunglasses | ‘I love you’ locket | gold disc choker

fashionlush, lissy roddy for public desire

The Edit | Gingham Lives On


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  • Bekah Troutman

    TBH I love your real AF insta stories post workout more than all the glam shots from NYFW. It’s realistic and gives a glimpse into your life! That’s good/relatable content I care to follow

    • Thank you SO much!!! Love love love that :) xoxoox

  • lordzed512

    If it makes you feel any better, I LOVE your outfit. ;) (Not trying to make light of the “disorder.” I totally feel you,)

  • thanks babe <3