The importance of social media places too much pressure on people to partake in unhealthy habits and sacrifice what is right for them, in order to avoid experiencing the most feared emotion- “FOMO”.
Before social media was so prevalent in our society, people didn’t feel so much pressure to ensure that every single weekend they are at the biggest parties with the most people. Slogging in the gym every day. Working in the most high-powered jobs. I still feel this silent pressure to fill my social calendar just to get that Insta shot. Or it could go the other way around – I scroll through all of these Instagram shots of people smiling surrounded by a group of friends with drinks flowing. Suddenly I feel the sudden FOMO setting in, like swallowing a small pebble. Why?
After sitting on this question for a while I concluded my own hypothesis. FOMO is usually the result of seeing something or hearing about something that pokes at a wound you are currently bearing.
In my case, I never really had a large group of tight friends growing up, and I still don’t. I’d like to think that I’ve grown up a little bit, and so I have learnt to appreciate my one or two close meaningful friendships more. I value those friendships because they grow me as a person and add value to my life. We go out, we have fun and we are there for each other. So why do I experience this heavy pebble feeling whenever I see other people partying It up every weekend? I am still carrying those sensitive scars from not having that experience growing up, when that was all I wanted, and FOMO is the result of those little sensitive spots being poked at by seeing something or hearing about something that you had longed for previously.
Now obviously not everybody experiences FOMO for the same reason. When I hear about big concerts happening, I don’t really care whether I go or not. It just wasn’t something that I ever desired to be a part of. Some people would be swallowing very heavy pebbles if they saw a bunch of their followers at that same concert. Some people don’t ever really experience that feeling. It’s different for different people.
I sat down and tried to figure out how I could get rid of this obsolete feeling that arose every single time I scrolled through my feed on a Friday night. Here are a few things I remind myself of each time I experience FOMO.
- People choose to only show the best moments of their lives when given the opportunity.
- My journey is different from others. What I am looking to surround myself with will be different from that which I am pressured into believing I should be surrounded with. Just because I am choosing to take a different route it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong one.
- You add meaning to your life in your own way.
- Do not take everything you see at face value, there is often a lot going on behind the scenes of that photo you saw. A lot that is most definitely not Instagram worthy.
- If it is something you would really like to do…then go and do it.
Moving forward, I will try to not let the fear of missing out keep me from creating a life that I won’t want to miss out on.