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The truth is that a lot of people suffer from FOMO and that includes me. I curate my social posts carefully to only show those that are postcard-worthy.
In my actual life, I try to live with utmost sincerity but my presence on social media is a little far from reality. People following me don’t see me save up for months in order to travel, regularly spend about 12 hours a day working with my computer, or argue with my partner on certain issues.
What FOMO Means
FOMO means Fear of Missing Out.
FOMO is real, it’s not just a funny acronym millennials like to use behind a hashtag. The actual feeling is that of being left behind—like your friends are on a vacation while you are stuck at work.
The result is not just feeling down, FOMO can actually kill one’s self-image and drain happiness.
Social media is a great cause. It leaves you vulnerable to viewing posts and pictures that induce FOMO at the worst possible times.
However, there are ways to convert your FOMO to JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). This will allow you to find bliss in the experiences you’re missing out on.
How to Know You’re Feeling FOMO
FOMO is very elusive.
One minute, you’re happily scrolling through Instagram, double-tapping on pics of kittens and beaches, and the next, you’re questioning every choice you’ve ever made in your life. WTF just happened?
Signs that you’ve been struck with a nasty case of FOMO include constantly checking social media, an inability to focus, feeling bad as you scroll through your feed, and always wishing you were somewhere else.
How can you overcome FOMO?
Ever experienced that feeling of relief (and maybe some guilt) when you bail on what sounds like a fun event just because you needed some me-time? There are ways to experience that JOMO (that is, the joy of missing out) every time you start to feel a pang of FOMO.
The best thing you can do to give FOMO the boot is to take a break from social media, Colleen Mullen says that, “A 30-day social media fast is actually a very trendy thing to do anyway, so no one will be shocked if you announce that you’re taking a break,” she adds, “The time away will help you learn that it doesn’t have to control you, and you’ll experience less anxiety.”
Can’t bear to stop posting status updates for a full month? We get it—even just two days away from social media can give you a recharge, says Mullen.
“You’ll see improvements within 48 hours of avoiding social media. You’ll notice you’re not as edgy, and that you can begin to make decisions based on what you really want in life,” she says.
When your fast is over, rebuild your relationship with your smartphone in a healthy way. Don’t let the urge to post every little thing you’re doing (or scope out what everyone else is up to) interrupt meaningful moments in your life.
“When you go to events—whether that’s a sports game, a party, a charity event, whatever—leave your mobile phone in your pocket or your purse. Everyone is so concerned with taking the perfect picture, but what really matters is experiencing life as it happens,” Mullen advises.
If certain topics, like fashion or travel, induce your FOMO, limit the time you spend following that content.