The Fear Of Missing Out
"Do you believe you're missing out? That everything good is happening somewhere else?" - it's just song lyrics, but it's a sentiment that rings true with a lot of us. Many of us are no longer content that the lives we are living are the best we can possibly have; and it's partially due to the rise in connectivity which allows us to consistently compare our lives to that of those around us.
What Is FOMO?
We've probably all experienced it. Read all about an event and how amazing it was, only to feel a pang of jealously that we weren't there, too. It's not new, but with the rise of social media, it makes it all too real for more of us to experience more regularly. The modern buzzword for this epidemic is 'FOMO', which stands for 'Fear Of Missing Out', and you've probably read about it!
Whilst it all seems a little harmless, sometimes it takes over in more ways than we'd care to admit. A lot of us become hooked on checking all of our social media accounts (almost like an addiction), but it's really not good for us. Instead of getting wistful thinking, you should limit your time online, ask yourself if what you're doing is really productive, and make your own life more interesting and active if not. You don't have to be jumping out of planes in exotic countries or backstage at a concert to lead a fulfilling life.
Remember, Social Media Isn't All It Seems
Many of us put aspects of our lives that we want to portray on social media, but most of us will put the highlights on there, with the exciting things we are doing and the times where things are going well. Social media is a mere microcosm of our actual lives, and doesn't really convey the effort we put in to make the money to do things, or to lose the weight to get the dream body, and so on. We rarely post images of ourselves in bed in the mornings, or when we are full of cold. It happens, but in general, it's just not the way it is.
Some people have gone even further to highlight these facts about how social media can be deceiving. One Dutch girl decided to trick family, friends (and eventually, the Internet), into believing she had gone travelling, with some cleverly planned posts and photoshop skills. She hid in her apartment for weeks to pull off the deception, which she used as a project commenting on modern life and how easy it can be to fake things online.
Then there are the Instagram models, the bloggers, and other digerati whose lives we find ourselves envying. Don't worry - that's often an illusion as well. Essena O'Neill famously quit social media last year, speaking out about the 'dishonest and contrived' portrayal of beauty that she was perpetuating and telling the world's media how all is not as it seems.
Stop looking to the world for approval and banish the green eyed monster. Life your life for YOU, and if you don't like something? Change it.
This post is written by Zoe Milles who is a freelance lifestyle journalist with a particular interest in health and wellbeing
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