Social phobia and specific phobia are confusing terms, as they both have fears that you avoid. The difference is that social phobia, also known as social anxiety disorder, is about fear of social scrutiny (social anxiety) or fear of embarrassing yourself while performing (performance anxiety), while specific phobia is the fear of a specific object (fear of spiders; fear of needles) or situation (fear of heights; fear of flying).
Social phobia is the fear of being shamed and embarrassed in front of other people, such as when approaching a crowd of people. You might think “they are looking at me, and therefore they are making fun of me” or “they are laughing at me.” In reality, it is not you that they are talking about…it’s most likely something else entirely, but your thoughts make you the focus on everyone’s conversations. As a reality check…do these people even know you? If not, how can they judge you? Did you actually hear them call your name? Just having a brief look at you does not mean they are making fun of you.
Social phobia also encompasses performance anxiety, which is the fear of embarrassment when performing in front of people. You might think “I suck” or you might think that you are “too boring.” In reality, you have put in many hours of practice on your speech, or your song, or your dance routine, and if you think “I am practiced and ready,” you will feel calm instead of anxious.
On the other hand, specific phobia is a fear of a specific object or situation. Specific phobia does not involve fears of embarrassment or social scrutiny. Specific phobia is just an irrational fear that causes panic attacks when you have to endure exposure to your feared stimulus.
So the difference between social phobia and specific phobia is regarding fear of social scrutiny for the former, and fear of a particular object or situation for the latter.