Have you ever missed a party and sat home reluctantly checking your social media feeds for pictures of all the fun? Were you ever stuck in traffic, anxiously awaiting a string of green lights so you could make it to your destination before the festivities began? Did you ever fall ill and have
to stay home wondering if people were having fun without you? That fear of missing out is all too common, and the tech-savvy, super social, acronym-using young adults of the 21st century have a phrase for it — FOMO.
We contract FOMO because we’re nervous that other people are making memories without us. Social media’s increased popularity has made it exponentially easier for FOMO to consume us. Before Instagram and Facebook, we weren’t so aware that we were missing out. We couldn’t watch an event unfold in real time unless we were there. Now, our phones are infiltrated with Snapchat stories that document the exciting and adventurous activities our peers are participating in.
Social media makes people want to showcase the happiest and most extravagant moments of their lives for all of their followers to see. Our newsfeeds are littered with exotic places, celebrity sightings and decadent brunches. It’s no wonder we all come down with a case of FOMO now and then.
If your friends are at a concert, you’ll watch videos of it on Snapchat. If your co-workers are enjoying happy hour one evening, you’ll see them all checked in at the bar on their Facebook pages. If your family goes to a new restaurant, you’ll scroll by your sister’s Instagram post of her delicious meal.
The fear of missing out is seemingly unavoidable, but there are some things you can do to prevent FOMO from wreaking havoc on your life.
TIPS TO AVOID HAVING FOMO
- Do not check social media during or immediately after the missed event.
- Distract yourself with another activity. If you’re having your own fun, you won’t be as inclined to check up on everyone else’s fun.
- Plan out your day/week, so you can make time to attend the social outings that are important to you.
- Keep in mind that people only post what they want to share with others. Don’t let the glitz and glamour fool you. You may not actually be missing out on anything all that great.
- Recognize that “me time” is important. You don’t have to attend every social gathering. It’s OK to take some time for yourself.