I open my social media account and I
get bombed by the sheer amount of photos depicting my friends having
fun at parties and social gatherings. Meanwhile, I am home, trying to
cook myself a decent meal. I wasn’t invited to a party and my life
feels miserable, partially due to my depression, partially due to the
fact it evolves around my shitty job. This is when FOMO starts to
control me. The horrible feeling that you are missing out on your own
life, while your friends are having the time of their life is
deepening the depression and boosts anxiety.
Dealing with FOMO can often seem
impossible, especially when you can see what your friends are doing
each time you open your social account. Even if you don’t check your
digital feed, you will find out what your friends did last weekend at
Queen Bey’s concert, which is going to trigger your FOMO. In fact,
the fear that you are missing out can stem from the most
insignificant thing and it’s linked to your own lack of satisfaction.
In my case, seeing a picture from my friend’s wedding gave me a
horrible FOMO, but I could feel the sorrow of not being a bride
Overcoming FOMO is an important step
for your own health, as the fear of missing out worsens depression
and anxiety. I learned how to limit FOMO and understand that not all
opportunities are for me, not everything my friends do is for me.
Social platform’s developers claim
their products make us more social and help us connect, but is this
really true? Being able to see what your friends are doing, miles
away, can really help you feel better or quite
the contrary, make you feel
more alone and promotes FOMO?
They say the grass is always greener on
the other side, but this is because we are used to focus on the other
side, instead of watering our own grass. Each time I was not able to
attend an event I was focused on following the feed of people who
went there. This made me feel bad about where I was and what I was
doing. FOMO was catching up with me, until I learned to focus on the
present. I wasn’t attending the concert because I went to a horseback
riding show. Or because I chose to babysit my niece. When I took
these decisions I was focused on the joy they were going to bring me,
so there is no point in focusing on what I missed. Always focus on
the here and now, as this is the worst enemy of FOMO!
Everyone is obsessed
over multitasking, but researchers are saying this is unhealthy
and pretty much impossible. Millennials are always running after
multiple rabbits at once; not two or three, but dozens, in the
attempt to multitask. This is actively making you less productive and
promotes FOMO. Instead of trying to handle multiple things at once,
focus on each one. When you complete one, move on to the next one and
As a millennial I still remember the
times when connecting with friends meant gathering outside, in the
park. But I also remember playing 90s computer games and discovering
Facebook in my teens. As time went by, we became more hooked on
social media. We are addicted to our feeds, which promote FOMO.
Spending less time on social media equals spending more time living
your own life. This reduces the fear of missing out, because you are
actively busy living. When you are living your own life, focusing on
the present, you are in control, there is no FOMO. There is no one
who is doing something better than you, there is nothing but the
present, which becomes your own best. For example, there is nothing
better than writing this article at this moment, no matter what my
friends are up to. I am here, now, doing what I love and this is the
only thing that matters.
The main thing which leads
to FOMO is pity. At least, this is what I think. When I see my
friends living amazing lives I feel small and boring. I feel my life
is worthless. But are other people really living amazing lives? Are
those photos real or fake?
Social media is often fake, presenting
facts in a distorted way. A picture of your friend wearing the latest
couture fashion might be hiding the fact she was only trying on a
dress she can’t afford. Everyone is posting only the best side of
their life, or the side we want others to see and admire. Few people
post the reality of their lives with good and bad things, which makes
your online presence a digital illusion.
Self-acceptance is the key to
overcoming FOMO. Following the lead of your friends might be
tempting, but living your own life is more important. We are all the
sum of our personal experiences, so we need to live in order to
accumulate those experiences. You can also establish what are the
things you want to do. For example, bungee-jumping might not be for
you. Realizing that you are not actually missing out on much is going
to empower you.