It seems like everyone you follow is either going out, on a vacation, or simply having a better time than you — *all the time*. Meet FOMO — Fear of Missing Out. It’s experienced everywhere — in each society, on each campus, + for people of all ages. It’s a horrible way to feel.
Social media has made this especially hard — it’s not easy to be able to look at your phone at any given time + suddenly know that not only are your friends on a seemingly amazing road trip, your coworkers are hitting up a new happy hour [while you take a night off to watch Netflix].
It’s not black and white — here are a few things to think about after seeing that Insta post that gives you *serious* FOMO.
REAL OR FAKE?
Is this an accurate representation of what is really happening at that party? Realistically, what we share online is a highlight reel, edited + curated to how we want others to see us. We want to be the best version of ourselves online — positive, fun + happy — shown the best through photos of what we’re doing. The negatives get cut out, but so do the mundane [even your friend who’s vacationing in Hawaii folded her laundry this morning ; )]. While you’re sitting at your desk studying, it seems that you’re missing the best times of your friends lives, but would you feel the same if you were there experiencing it?
We often think that if we aren’t moving in a *fast paced* environment, we aren’t working in our best interest + therefore must be missing something — right? Wrong. Practicing living mindfully is important in so many ways — devote your valuable time to things that make you a better you. It’s okay to take a personal day + work on yourself — whether that means going to the gym with a friend or simply relaxing in bed with a cup of tea. Yes, you will miss something, but what can you gain from slowing down?
NECESSARY vs. DESIRABLE
Think about it — does that post depict what you *really* want to be doing right now? Exactly what we want or need isn’t always very glamorous or social media worthy — sitting on the couch in our pjs with a bowl of popcorn + a movie is sometimes *just the thing* we’re craving. Of course there are things that are always desirable — a vacation, a trip to the movies, or a great yoga sesh — but what is the best thing for you in this moment?
WHAT ARE YOU GAINING FROM YOUR SOCIALS?
We *love* social media. It can be used in so many different ways, most importantly, to your advantage — like joining an online community such as virtCHAARG or sharing with like minded people on Instagram. But are you always using yours wisely? Social media can make or break us — studies show that heavy usage leads to FOMO + dissatisfaction with our overall well-being + everyday lives. Instead of checking in constantly to stay in the loop [while simultaneously causing yourself to feel down], practice using social media to inspire healthy motivation.
CHERISH *YOUR* MOMENTS
Recognize the opportunity to make a moment like this in your own life, a moment you can create, control + capture. Always focus on the experience, not the *symbol* or recognition from the post that comes after. Remind yourself what you’re truly after when you choose something — how adventurous you feel when you go on that hike, or how strong you feel when you hit the gym. By doing so, we feel what is truly most fulfilling + let each experience bring as much satisfaction as possible.
++Abigail [@abigail.inchaarg] // UK CHAARG