If you are involved with social media, I am sure on at least one occasion you have experienced FOMO ( fear of missing out). Fomo is that uneasy and consuming feeling that you are missing out and your friends are doing something or having something better than you. It causes people to constantly to check social media to feel in the loop. It's more than not scoring Beyonce tickets. You may feel bad that you are not experiencing life events such as getting married, having babies , starting businesses etc. FOMO may having you feeling like something is wrong or missing from your life.
The research shows that despite knowing that Facebook is an illusion and people intentionally choose what to share on facebook, we can't help but to compare our lives to others. Our relationship with technology is still fairly new and those who are newest to social media experience FOMO the most because they do not realized that social media is not an accurate expression of peoples lives. They take it for face value. Those vets of social media have an understanding that we are going to put of best selves on social media. It sort of like getting dressed and going out . We are still learning how to use social media in a meaningful way. However have your counted how often you look at social media. For those iPhone users check this out to see how often you are on social media. You will be surprised! Why do you think companies are spending so much money on social media advertisement?
Here are some tips to help you overcome FOMO
1. Remember social media is an illusion.
As I mentioned before, sometimes what is presented on social media is exaggerated and more of an reflection of who we want to be rather than who we are. There are great portions of peoples lives are omitted for may reasons. We might find we’re comparing ourselves to an unrealistic version of someone else life.
2. Take a break from social media
Now I am not suggesting that you give it forever. But if you experience feelings FOMO you may need to take a break and focus on your own life. Focusing on the here and now and using mindfulness techniques. The problem with FOMO is the person involved are looking outward instead of inward. When you're focused to the "other," or the "better" (in your mind), you lose your authentic sense of self. This fear or comparison means you are not participating in your own world.
I am sure your life is just as awesome, it may not be "curated" in digital format I am a BIG fan of gratutde journals. Marshalls and TJ Maxx have really cute ones for cheap. Taking time each day to write down aspects of your life that you a grateful can work miracles.
4. There may be a bigger problem .
Maybe this would be a good time to examine what are not focusing on in your life that causes
you want to excape to the digital world. You may be experiencing an underlining problem such as anxiety or depression. If these symptoms persist you may need to see a therapist to help you work out your stuff.
Lim, M. and Yang, Y. (2015). Effects of users’ envy and shame on social comparison that occurs on social network services. Computers in Human Behavior, 51:300–311.