Fear of missing out, or FoMo if you know it by its acronym, is something many people appear to be experiencing nowadays, but there are some ways to fight FoMo that may mean you won't have to suffer any longer. The acronym was actually added to the Oxford English Dictionary last year and it is defined as an anxiety induced by the knowledge that 'an exciting or interesting event may be currently happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.' Our lives are so different to our parents' and with the advent of social media, there seems to be a lot more pressure on people nowadays to keep up with each other and show others that their lives and loves are awesome all the time. Of course, that's not to say that the generations before didn't suffer from this phenomenon but it's safe to say that social media has amplified many of the social and psychological pressures on people. We seem to be suffering from a digital-age case of 'keeping up with the Joneses.' You know what it's like. You're trawling through the social networking sites and you can see amazing holiday snaps and family photos where everyone looks oh so happy. And there's a little part of us inside which thinks, "Why is my life not like that?!" Take a look at these ways to fight FoMo.
One of the first ways to fight FoMo is to turn off those mobile devices and get outside. Stop staring at the screen with the pictures your 'friends' have uploaded and realise that people are often only going to show the bright and fluffy sides of their lives - they're not going to show the troubles they're having. If you find yourself spending an inordinate amount of time on the internet then set yourself limits. Sometimes, we're not even aware of how long we spend online but there are apps, such as rescuetime.com, which can help you limit the amount of time you spend on certain sites.
Our minds are so busy whirring and processing information we're bombarded with day by day. We're told to buy this, wear that, travel here and eat this. It can be exhausting but in the words of one of my favorite Depeche Mode songs, we need to enjoy the silence. Try to enjoy solitude by sitting in silence for ten to twenty minutes a day and just watch your thoughts as they come and go.
Invest your time in a hobby or two to get your creative juices flowing. Take up sewing or knitting or learn to play an instrument. Finding a creative outlet will make you less likely to want to be out at the first sign of a social. Also, this fear of missing out can often be a result of low self-esteem. Build up your self confidence by spending time developing your skills in something you enjoy.
Over committing yourself because you think you should accept all of the invites will leave you feeling exhausted. Pick which events you would like to attend and be happy with the choices you make. Don't worry about the ones you have been unable to attend - there will be other opportunities.
Next time you find yourself on social media sites, put the cell phone, laptop or tablet away and arrange a coffee date with some actual friends rather than virtual ones. Also, declare your time together a 'no-cell zone' and talk to each other rather than looking down at your mobile devices.
Instead of feeling envious about what others appear to have, use it to your advantage by going out to get what you want. Not to brag about it but for yourself. If you see someone has a new and amazing job and you want one too, go out and make this your mission. If you see someone has an exciting social life, turn off the computer and go out and socialize. Remember, if someone has such an awesome and hectic life, why are they spending so much time uploading pictures every five minutes?!
Every time you find yourself feeling as though you're missing out, practice a little gratitude and look at all the wonderful things you have. This will make you less likely to pine for the things other people seem to be raving about on their pages.
Are you suffering from a case of FoMo? You can find out by doing a quiz at ratemyfomo.com. Do you have any other hints and tips for dealing with this phenomenon?
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