Unplugging without FOMO

Haley Dixon

Our phones give us immediate access to all kinds of social media whether you’re home or out and about. Which means that pictures and posts from your friends are at your fingertips. Sometimes it seems like your friends are doing more fun things than you and you feel like you are missing out. FOMO or Fear Of Missing Out is a social anxiety that people often feel when they see how much fun other people are having. In a nutshell, FOMO is a combination of envy and insecurity. Chances are, you’ve experienced the feeling before.
With FOMO you want to be everywhere doing everything. But the problem is that you’re actually everywhere and nowhere all at the same time. Spending your time wishing you were doing something else ruins the moment that you’re already in. It’s easy to get addicted to technology when a favorite, like, or comment on your most recent post floods you with instant gratification. The truth is that anything noteworthy that happens on social media while you are away will be voiced in another setting or it will still be present when you look at it hours later. Here are a few simple steps to overcome this anxiety.
The first step in overcoming the fear of missing out is accepting that things will happen without you. Sure your friend is at the coolest restaurant in town, but you’ll be at one tomorrow. It is absolutely impossible to do everything with everyone. Be happy that your friends are enjoying life just like you are. Yes they may be doing fun things without you, but you are doing fun things without them!
Step two is living in the moment. When out with friends, avoid constantly checking your phone to see what everyone else is doing. You can go “like” their pictures later. Try turning off social media notifications while you are out and about with friends and family to fully enjoy the moment and help avoid temptation. Next time you’re at the fancy concert put the camera down. Take pictures to remember it by but remember that part of living in the present is not spending all of your time planning how you will display your fun time to others.
The final step is realizing that social media is full of deception. People generally only share their best news on social media, they choose the pictures they want the world to see. Sometimes it seems like social media is just people trying to it makes it seem like everyone is having a good time without you. The reality is they may not even be having a good time it just looks like it by the picture.
So the next time you stay in for the night, relax and enjoy a night by yourself. Remember there are plenty of other people who are staying in for the night just like you, they just aren’t posting about it.