FOMO is a recent word that’s used a lot these days. It’s even been added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2013. But what is FOMO? FOMO is the acronym of fear of missing out.
‘‘the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you’’. Apparently 3/4 of young adults say they’ve been experiencing FOMO.
An example of this would be the feeling of always checking social media, every period of time in case you don’t miss out on something. No one want’s to be ‘out of the loop’ or feel left out.
I can see why people would get into it. It removes anxiety to a certain extent but also add to it. It then becomes a stationary bike where it feels like your progressing and feeling good about yourself.
It’s just part of life? Is this something that people shouldn’t care about? Is there a remedy for this?
It’s possible to fix this problem but first I want to say FOMO is a serious problem here’s why:
FOMO dwells in unhappiness
When you’re in the FOMO cycle, you’re probably not in a good moment in your life. That’s because FOMO comes from the feeling of being unhappy.
That’s because we have low enough feeling of satisfaction in our lives, The rewards of not feeling left out reach higher in moods and overall appreciation of life.
So you’re probably dealing with things that you rather not, I get it, it happens to all of us. The thing is though, no one is really showing it on social media like Facebook. It can really make you feel like everyone is having fun without you.
The average amount of people check social media the first thing they wake up or even get all their news sources from.
Most do it during meal, bathroom breaks, and before they go to bed. Needless to say, there might be an addiction if you can’t go a day without it.
People with FOMO are essentially using social media to make themselves feel better. But it actually makes them feel worse.
Social Media is never what you think it is
Now we'll know that social media doesn’t depict everything about one person’s lives but rather how they choose to show it. It’s like a highlight reel of their day or week.
Sure this can come off like bragging and personally that feeling is why I’m not too much into posting on my own accounts.
Even while knowing this is just hard to not compare yourself to this.
In the book:The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less/ by professor Barry Schwartz says:
“Stop paying so much attention to how others around you are doing”. It’s easier said than done, really because a lot of us do care about our status and what we do. When seeing others doing or accomplishing things you haven’t then it’ll make you feel bad.
It’s like looking at your bank statements and looking at the ones from Forbes 400 list.
Jealousy is really all the fun you think they had. You’re living your life 24/7 but only seeing a 5 mixture video or a photo in one moment. We fill the gaps of what we don’t know with the things that could happen - but most likely never actually did.
You just can’t compete with their highly-edited version of lifestyle awesomeness especially when you’re feeling a little down or anxious to begin with.
So how does one deal with this? is it to start posting how great your life is too? It really shouldn’t because you’re only feeding into the same problem.
Now you’re probably wondering what is the real solution then?
The solution is where you get your happiness from
Looking at social media for happiness is trying to go to McDonalds to lose weight. It’s not going to happen in the way that you think it will.
Social media isn’t real life. Yet we are trying to believe that the real life is the same as the fake life. So happiness must from the real life which is inside you.
This all comes down to one word that people who are having FOMO need:
Looking on the bright side is a cliche because it’s hard to do but it does remind the message of looking at the good makes the bad less apparent.
Happiness is essentially comes from where we draw the attention towards. Attention is what makes everything connect and work into a lifestyle system.
Because of limited resources of say, time, we have to value where we spend it to get that happiness. If you’re not happy about where you are - it’s probably because you’re spending too much time on the things that shouldn’t have your attention.
So when you go into the rabbit hole of FOMO - you’re dealing with the fake world in trying to find happiness and then surprise, surprise, it’s not there.
The best way to stop getting caught up in it all is to practice gratitude.
What are you happy that you have? Home? Friends? Family? Pets?
Now think about if those things weren’t there. You probably wouldn’t feel good. So you’re lucky to not deal with that.
It sounds silly to do but research says it works.
University of Chicago professor John Cacioppo, the leading researcher on loneliness, says that gratitude helps make it all feel better about where we are with our lives.
So instead of dealing with FOMO - deal with FOBO - fear of better opportunities.
So when you’re looking at other people’s lives remember the only thing you’re missing out on is your own.