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Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience

Anna Bortolan Orcid Logo

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, Volume: 22, Issue: 5, Pages: 1195 - 1214

Swansea University Author: Anna Bortolan Orcid Logo

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Abstract

During the pandemic of Covid-19, internet-based communication became for many the primary, or only, means of interaction with others, and it has been argued that this had a host of negative effects on emotional and mental health. However, some people with a lived experience of mental ill-health also...

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Published in: Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
ISSN: 1568-7759 1572-8676
Published: Springer Science and Business Media LLC 2023
Online Access: Check full text

URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa62263
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first_indexed 2023-01-05T09:46:35Z
last_indexed 2023-03-15T04:23:09Z
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spelling v2 62263 2023-01-04 Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience 9931f2ee5e3c744a5af4b5668a6f0f8c 0000-0002-6544-998X Anna Bortolan Anna Bortolan true false 2023-01-04 SOSS During the pandemic of Covid-19, internet-based communication became for many the primary, or only, means of interaction with others, and it has been argued that this had a host of negative effects on emotional and mental health. However, some people with a lived experience of mental ill-health also perceived improvements to their wellbeing during the period in which social activities were moved online.In this paper, I explore the possibility that some of these improvements are due to the partial “disembodiment” of emotions facilitated by internet-mediated interaction. In particular, I consider the phenomenology of social anxiety and how it may be impacted upon by encountering others primarily through the medium of internet-enabled technology.I will start by reconstructing a phenomenological account of social anxiety to which disruptions of bodily experience are central. I will then move to consider how the experiential dynamics that are particularly prominent in social anxiety can be weakened when communicating with others via video calls, instant messages, and social media more broadly. I will suggest that this is the case due to the diminished visibility of the body online, and the higher degree of control and agency over one’s experience that can be exercised in this context.Finally, I will argue that the weakening of social anxiety through internet-mediated contact exemplifies some of the processes which are key to emotion regulation more widely, thus suggesting that communication and interaction online could have a positive effect on a wider range of affective disturbances. Journal Article Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 22 5 1195 1214 Springer Science and Business Media LLC 1568-7759 1572-8676 Internet, Mental health, Social anxiety, Embodiment, Pandemic, Emotion 1 12 2023 2023-12-01 10.1007/s11097-023-09886-2 COLLEGE NANME Social Sciences School COLLEGE CODE SOSS Swansea University SU Library paid the OA fee (TA Institutional Deal) Swansea University 2024-06-06T12:12:57.2356450 2023-01-04T16:39:49.5620441 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences School of Social Sciences - Politics, Philosophy and International Relations Anna Bortolan 0000-0002-6544-998X 1 62263__26869__828e84f81c7849f6ae1bfe9c936ea311.pdf 62263.pdf 2023-03-14T15:15:45.3609288 Output 857469 application/pdf Version of Record true Distributed under the terms of a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (CC BY 4.0). true eng http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
title Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience
spellingShingle Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience
Anna Bortolan
title_short Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience
title_full Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience
title_fullStr Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience
title_full_unstemmed Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience
title_sort Healing online? Social anxiety and emotion regulation in pandemic experience
author_id_str_mv 9931f2ee5e3c744a5af4b5668a6f0f8c
author_id_fullname_str_mv 9931f2ee5e3c744a5af4b5668a6f0f8c_***_Anna Bortolan
author Anna Bortolan
author2 Anna Bortolan
format Journal article
container_title Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
container_volume 22
container_issue 5
container_start_page 1195
publishDate 2023
institution Swansea University
issn 1568-7759
1572-8676
doi_str_mv 10.1007/s11097-023-09886-2
publisher Springer Science and Business Media LLC
college_str Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
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hierarchy_top_id facultyofhumanitiesandsocialsciences
hierarchy_top_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
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hierarchy_parent_title Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
department_str School of Social Sciences - Politics, Philosophy and International Relations{{{_:::_}}}Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences{{{_:::_}}}School of Social Sciences - Politics, Philosophy and International Relations
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description During the pandemic of Covid-19, internet-based communication became for many the primary, or only, means of interaction with others, and it has been argued that this had a host of negative effects on emotional and mental health. However, some people with a lived experience of mental ill-health also perceived improvements to their wellbeing during the period in which social activities were moved online.In this paper, I explore the possibility that some of these improvements are due to the partial “disembodiment” of emotions facilitated by internet-mediated interaction. In particular, I consider the phenomenology of social anxiety and how it may be impacted upon by encountering others primarily through the medium of internet-enabled technology.I will start by reconstructing a phenomenological account of social anxiety to which disruptions of bodily experience are central. I will then move to consider how the experiential dynamics that are particularly prominent in social anxiety can be weakened when communicating with others via video calls, instant messages, and social media more broadly. I will suggest that this is the case due to the diminished visibility of the body online, and the higher degree of control and agency over one’s experience that can be exercised in this context.Finally, I will argue that the weakening of social anxiety through internet-mediated contact exemplifies some of the processes which are key to emotion regulation more widely, thus suggesting that communication and interaction online could have a positive effect on a wider range of affective disturbances.
published_date 2023-12-01T12:12:58Z
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