You may have come across the acronym FOMO, which stands for ‘Fear of Missing Out’. As per Wikipedia, FOMO is a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.
FOMO is basically regretting the current activity you are performing due to the fear that there is something more exciting which you could be doing instead.
FOMO and Social Media :
In this age of social media and being constantly aware of what others are doing, FOMO is all prevalent, and is amplified by the fake personas people have on social media.
You open the Facebook or Instagram app while you’re doing an important task, and you see amazing pictures of your friends traveling the world, and you instantly regret not doing the same.
You feel rotten about working while others are enjoying, and you don’t manage to complete the task at hand due to the feeling of being inadequate.
Your immediate reaction is to upload a picture or a post of something exciting you are doing. But this creates a vicious cycle, as someone else who sees your post will fear missing out too.
FOMO and Depression :
Based on an article I read recently, new studies have shown a link between increased social media use and the rise in depression amongst teenagers.
The constant comparison and need to be liked, puts a lot of pressure on most of us. We obsessively check our phones to see the number of ‘likes’ we got on a certain picture we uploaded, hoping that we outshine our friends.
But this slowly becomes an addiction, where our self-worth is measured by ‘likes’.
This is how social media sites promote FOMO, which then leads to depression.
The solution :
Quit social media. Not having social media accounts does not disrupt life, but instead enhances it.
A few years ago I deleted all my social media accounts. Being away from those sites has not only reduced my anxiety, but also helped me gain a better perspective on life, sans the comparisons and distractions.
A few months after quitting social media, I came across a Ted Talk by Dr. Cal Newport which only strengthened my resolve never to go back.
If you feel that quitting social media is a drastic step, then make sure you do digital detoxes every weekend.
Take time to improve your life, for comparison never will.
Thank you for reading! Stay blessed!