Have you ever been on social media and saw people having the time of their lives and felt like you were missing out? The fear of missing out aka (FOMO), often derives from feeling like others are experiencing better things than you are. It has become more prevalent in the age of social media where you are constantly paraded with the highlights of other people’s lives.
Social media exacerbates this feeling of missing out. It leads people to compare their ordinary lives to others online who they perceive to be leading more abundant, fulfilling lives. Sites like Instagram and Facebook place emphasis on the reel highlights of someone’s life. People use it as a tool to brag about all the amazing things they are doing, intentionally leaving out all the very normal things that most people experience. This creates space for people to feel envious and dissatisfied with their own life’s.
You suffer from FOMO if you do or feel any of the following:
- Feeling like everyone is having more fun, and experiencing more joy than you
- Overcompensating by posting content to make you feel better about your life and to convince others that you have it all together
- Constantly watching what other people are doing and keeping tabs to feel like we are a part of the action
- Feeling pressured to be visible on social media
- Feeling like no one can relate their struggles
This fear of missing out can harm people’s self-esteem. It can make us feel like we are not good enough and unfortunate in comparison. The constant wave of picturesque pictures and celebratory statuses can make us ungrateful for the life that we lead.
I think in some way many of us fear missing out. If you are a content creator, the pressure to be constantly visible and produce content can keep us in a constant hamster wheel. I know I’ve felt like I can’t take a social media break or that I must engage in certain conversations in fear of missing my window of opportunity to promote my brand. As humans, we have a desire to be valued and loved. Experiencing joy is fundamental for self-preservation and being a part of something makes us feel less lonely. However, the feeling of missing out leads us to seek validation in unhealthy ways by constantly ‘performing’ online. It brings us back to the very school-like dynamics of feeling left out and trying to fit in.
The reality is even if you were able to acquire the things you envy from others (i.e. a relationship, a great social life or material success), it doesn’t guarantee that your life will be more fulfilled. You may end up in a loving relationship but may not be enough because you lack self confidence. Also, things aren’t always what it seems online. There have been times when I posted myself going out but wasn’t feeling that great about myself. You can’t make assumptions based on what you see online.
If you are suffering from FOMO I want you to remember this:
People are online showing their reel highlights. We all have them. Comparing ourselves to other people’s highlights is unfair and unkind. You never know what others are going through. All that matters are that your life is in alignment with what you envision for it.
Remember, you get to live life on your terms. Your life is incomparable to others and you slay in your own lane. Nothing can fill a void that’s within you other than you. Find peace and joy within your own life and make a declaration that other people’s lives will not disrupt that peace.
Now over to you! Questions for you:
Do you suffer from FOMO?
What are your thoughts?
Much love, Ash xx