OK, just in case you don’t know what on earth I’m talking about here, let me explain about FOMO in case it’s totally passed you by…
‘anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website’
The fact that you don’t know what this is probably means that you are happily oblivious and not remotely afflicted by this disease. Lucky you.
If you’ve already checked Facebook a handful of times before 9am, you scroll your Twitter timeline without even noticing that you’re doing it and you’d rather just catch up on social media than talk to the actual real life person in your living room of an evening, you may be infected.
Do you ‘multitask’ everything nowadays? That is, check your Instagram feed whilst cooking dinner, Pin a few things whilst drying your hair and see what’s happening on Facebook whilst also watching TV? Of course you do, it’s time-saving, right?
Do you read a status update/tweet/spot an Instagram pic from a friend’s feed and then wonder why you weren’t invited? Can I remind you that you barely know them and would probably have not even bothered to go anyway? Does that make any difference to the FOMO rage boiling up? Nope, thought not.
Are you a blogger and have spotted (by actively searching it out) that someone has received a product that you wanted, had more interaction with a brand you were looking to work with or they simply seem to be getting more opportunities? Ah, the FOMO bug can be real with bloggers!
So if you’re nodding along to some of these, you know that you have it. I’m hoping this hasn’t come as a shock to you, but do no fret if it has as I have a few tips for banishing it….
Here’s how to fight the FOMO bug:
You are in more than 3 Facebook groups. Why? What are you doing in there? Are they productive and make you happy, or do you just spend unnecessary time scrolling through the chats to ensure you’re not missing out? Leave Facebook groups that add no value to your life whatsoever. If they do not serve a purpose or simply make you smiley and happy, leave. Do it now.
Unfollow or Mute any folks over on Twitter that incite your FOMO. Any of them. I am one of those rare creatures that does actually like to still be on Twitter, I don’t just schedule everything an ignore folk there, so when I am there, I like to enjoy my feed. Endless ‘promoted’ tweets aside, I then like to be inspired, enjoy blog links and am partial to a bit of chit chat. That’s all I want, I do not want FOMO starting up there.
Now Instagram is a funny old place. Personally, I adore it, but it can paint an idyllic image. The perfect home, no mess, smiling kids, flat lays that must have taken ages to prepare – you get the picture (pun totally intended). I quite like that in some cases, I enjoy seeing the prettiness popping up in my feed, and then I also follow plenty of ‘real’ folk with their everyday snaps of life. I think it boils down to this; if the feed makes you feel sad or bad, unfollow. Simple.
YouTube? Ah yes, with the advent of vlogging, it’s easy to get caught up in other people’s lives and so it’s easy to feel you’re missing out. Do not subscribe if it drains you, saddens you or enrages you!
Oh, and Pinterest? Though I love it, you do have to scroll through it knowing that you cannot be Pinterest-perfect!
You’ll see there’s no clever or magic cure here? Just stop and take a breather. Assess what you’re doing. If it’s not good, simply step away.
People only let you see what they want you to see. Social media is a glimpse, an often curated glimpse, into someone’s life, nothing more.
Yes, you will see get-togethers that are happening out there without you. Yes, you will see that so-and-so is off on a fabulous holiday…again. Yes, you will see the odd chat taking place that makes you wonder why you weren’t party to it. This is all standard life, always has been. It’s just that it’s right in our faces now thanks to social media.
I love social media because it’s fun. When it’s not, step away from it, unfollow, block – whatever you need to do and be honest with yourself if it’s getting you down. It’s supposed to be social not stressful.
Do you think you get bouts of the FOMO bug? How do you beat it?