University of South Florida

College of Arts & Sciences



Social anxiety is a hefty burden not just on individuals, but society as a whole. Each year, more people experience frequent and intense social anxiety. The paradox is that our societies are more connected than any time in history, but we are seeing a decay in social connection. The trendlines are going in the wrong direction. Yet, despite how common social anxiety is—and how much it can impact a person's life—we know surprisingly little about it.

Recently, USF Assistant Professor of Psychology Dr. Fallon Goodman delivered a TEDx talk discussing what social anxiety is, why it’s increasing across the globe, and the costs to our health. Drawing from her years as a clinician and researcher, she combines storytelling with science to debunk myths about social anxiety that pervade our culture. She also addresses new challenges posed by social media—and why it is not to blame. She concludes with actionable solutions for addressing social anxiety.

As mental health increasingly becomes a topic of public concern, it is time for social anxiety to enter the conversation. Social anxiety is a near-universal human experience—and social anxiety disorder is one of the most common mental illnesses in the world—yet it is widely misunderstood. As a result, social anxiety often festers for years.

In giving this talk, Dr. Goodman hopes to improve public awareness of social anxiety. Only through candid and forthcoming conversations about social anxiety can we reduce stigma, correct harmful myths, and get people the help they need.

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About CAS

The College of Arts and Sciences is the intellectual heart of the University of South Florida. We are a community of teachers and scholars united in the belief that broadly educated people are the basis of a just, free, and prosperous society. By focusing on the big questions facing all of humanity, we prepare students for successful, socially responsible personal and professional lives. By conducting innovative, interdisciplinary research and scholarship, we advance knowledge in ways that prepare us to address complex social and scientific problems and enhance the quality of life for people and communities.