Do you suffer from FOMO?
This “fear of missing out”?
I suspect we all do from time to time but some more than others. FOMO to my way of thinking is a dangerous place to be – a little from time to time can probably help us lift our game and do better with friends and family. Too much FOMO means something negative is going on inside, sapping the self-confidence and making us feel less than good about ourselves.
Today, with social media it is almost impossible not to feel left out.
We have only to scroll through Instagram for 30 seconds or check our Facebook page to find a host of desirable shots that can make us feel in some ways dissatisfied. Yes, we are old enough to know better and the feeling may be fleeting but nevertheless, it’s real. The FOMO comes in when we dwell on what we can’t do, don’t have or may have been excluded from. It is not a thinking reaction but an emotional reaction.
FOMO isn’t something I want to have in my life and I studiously try and avoid it.
This feeling of exclusion is something we all experience and it is something we can reduce if we accept it exists. There is nothing abnormal or wrong about the occasional bout of FOMO. I don’t believe we can change progress or deny the world we live in but we must find our comfortable place within this framework.
We don’t have to be threatened or made to feel lesser because social media is in our lives 24/7. We have a choice of what we read, we visualise and most importantly what we believe. Social media as a communication tool is brilliant, we can connect and learn from each other – the importance is to focus on what we gain not what we don’t.
How do we fight FOMO?
Work on our self-confidence. Self-confidence comes more naturally to some than others. Feeling better about us means “the fear of missing out” impacts less. The more confidence we grow, the more our judgement stands us in good stead and “missing out” becomes a non-issue.
Avoid comparisons. Comparisons always lead to disaster and we do know that. When has comparing ourselves to others ever had a happy ending? Let’s leave the parallels alone.
Focus our attention. Our attention should turn towards the positive end of the spectrum and focus on reality, not an unnatural perception created by some who may not necessarily tell it like it is. Be attentive and proactive towards others and it will be reciprocated. Positive reinforcement through social media alone is fickle and unrewarding.
Choose happiness whenever possible and yes, it is a choice. Happiness automatically puts a positive spin on our thoughts and enables our self-confidence to thrive. Life is full of sadness and has a significant and unavoidable place but we can’t let it take over where it doesn’t belong.
Dare I say, be grateful. It sounds trite but I know I don’t count my good fortune enough or appreciate those around me as much as I should. Deep within the recognition is alive and well but it can become buried and forgotten. FOMO can leech the gratitude clean away if we aren’t careful.
Refrain or reduce those influences causing a negative impact. If social media is causing grief, turn it off. It’s harder than we imagine but even small breaks will make all the difference. The same chatter will be there when you return.
I’m trying to engage, to be more in the present, what about you? xv
image, tim walker for mulberry