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.

Fomo - Fear of Missing Out

Backstage” (CC BY 2.0) by pellesten

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.

FOMO - Fear of Missing Out

Sunset – Ko Lanta / Thailand” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Rushen!

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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14 thoughts on “FOMO

  1. This is so true. I haven’t showered yet and I’m certainly not going to post that on Instagram! LOL As a blogger I think that we have a “heads up” on how social media is a highlight reel of our lives. We post the good stuff. But I am worried about the teens that see things and envy others. They don’t understand yet that it’s not real, social media is the best parts of real! I love spending time, learning from others and seeing what’s out there-but I try to keep my head in my real life and just enjoy other’s highlights.

    • Sally Sally says:

      You’re absolutely right Nikki. I think those of us who remember what life was like before social media will be able to take it all with a pinch of salt. Those who don’t (or perhaps who have forgotten) may be thinking everything is at it seems and it’s not.

  2. Avatar Cheryl @ ReimerandRuby says:

    Lovely post! Social media is not at all wonderful, isn’t it? it’s great for connecting with people, but most of the time, it triggers jealousy… which is the downside of it. #LifeLovingLinkie

    • Sally Sally says:

      No it’s not at all Cheryl. I think it’s so important to keep it all in check otherwise you get too hung up on what everyone else is doing and forget to live your life. Although a bit of FOMO is good as it encourage us to relax a little, go along with the crowd and also try things that we wouldn’t have normally tried.

    • Sally Sally says:

      Hurrah! Good for you Patrick. Me too. There’s nothing more important living the best life you can, because you want to for you.

  3. Great post! Social Media is really a tricky little bugger, hey? You gotta be real and know not to fall for all the nonsense you see out there. But it is hard! Everyone has the need to showcase their picture perfect lives it seems…

    • Sally Sally says:

      We are all guilty of this a bit though. Us as bloggers more so than others I should imagine Katrin. Social media provides so many benefits for staying in touch, but at the same time it’s important not to let it rule you.

  4. This is something I remind myself of constantly – you can’t compare your normal life with everyone else’s highlights. You can be happy for them but if it starts creating envy then you need to unfollow or disconnect until you get your balance right again. (Altho’ I did like that girl who tricked everyone with her travel stories!)

    • Sally Sally says:

      I know, how funny was her story. It could easily be done with all the modern technology available and some photoshop skills. Yes it’s very important to get the balance right and keep it in perspective.

  5. Yeah social media is definitely to blame for alot of bad feelings and FOMO. , I find that I spending less and less time on my personal facebook account, its just so tedious.
    I am however actually in the process of writing a post about my worst day when I went travelling just to show that its not all sunsets and smiles!

    • Sally Sally says:

      That’s a great post idea. We should definitely showcase the downside. There’s always one day that isn’t up to scratch on every holiday/trip.

  6. I love this! Social media has soooo much to answer for doesn’t it? I think at first I was a bit sucked in by it and then I realised that actually, most of this stuff was just an illusion of the perfect life! I try to share the rough with the smooth, life isn’t always easy and I think it would be wrong to portray it that way. Great post and thanks for hosting. #lifelovinglinkie

    • Sally Sally says:

      Absolutely Laura. Too many people spend too much time comparing themselves and social media can really make it worse. There’s always going to be someone who has a nicer house, more friends or better holidays, but who cares. Your life is your own and as long as you are enjoying the way you live it, why worry about what other are doing.

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