If you use social media, you are probably familiar with and quite possibly have experienced FOMO... Fear Of Missing Out. A number of reports have revealed many people have experienced negative, uncomfortable feelings such as inadequacy, anxiety and depression as a result of something they’ve seen or heard on social media.
- anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
- "I realised I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO"
It’s more common than you think!
Say you have been scrolling through your Facebook news feed and you have seen a plethora of new photos by a friend or acquaintance who is jet setting their way around the Caribbean, cocktail in hand, making lots of new ‘friends’ and getting an amazing sun-kissed tan.
Meanwhile, back in your own life, you are sitting in front of your computer screen under a canopy of fluorescent lights in a concrete office building, while the rain is pouring outside….hmmm
"Oh, I'd love to be where they are, doing what they are doing and having all that fun!" ... and off the mind goes, spiralling down into the mire of "Why can’t it be me doing that?" and "Some people have ALL the fun!"
Your life in comparison suddenly appears inadequate, dull, boring and uneventful...suddenly you feel as if you have nothing nearly as interesting to share with your social network!
Never judge a [face] book by its cover
While social media is a great tool for connecting, communicating and staying in touch with people, sharing information and learning new things, it can certainly arouse what has become known as Fear Of Missing Out.
You may be familiar with that feeling all too well and the subsequent emotions, feelings and thoughts accompanying it. You may feel like your lot just doesn’t measure up and that you should really be somewhere else, living a different life and having more fun just like EVERYBODY ELSE!!
Or so it would seem...if you take everything you see on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram at face value.
When it comes to social media, you have the option of being quite selective about what you show the world on your pages and timelines. It may be that yes, the weather was great and so were the cocktails for that matter. But there’s always more than meets the eye, and you can easily get hung up on appearances when all you are seeing is the ‘good’ stuff.
Technology time-out or cold turkey?
There are ways to prevent getting yourself caught up in FOMO, without necessarily going ‘cold turkey’ with social media, though you may need to do that if it’s causing you significant distress every time you see your news feed.
You have the choice to be discerning about what you see and what you expose yourself to when it comes to social media. Maybe you need to change your settings both literally and metaphorically speaking?
Give yourself a technology curfew and stick to it. If you spend your days behind a computer or you are constantly on your smartphone, try putting it away after a set time each night, and don’t pick it up again until a set time the next day. Even better, maybe you can implement a computer/ smartphone free day each week where you don’t even go near the device, let alone check your emails, Facebook, Twitter etc.
Believe it or not, it’s HIGHLY likely the world won’t end or that everything will fall apart if you are not accessible or checking in for a day!
Be honest with yourself
How much time are you really spending on your phone, tablet or computer scrolling aimlessly through your news feed or waiting for ‘something’ to happen on Facebook, Twitter etc?
Ask yourself why you need to keep checking in.
- Is it because you are bored?
- Is it because there is a lack of contentment or interest in what you are doing presently?
- Are you seeking mental, emotional or physical stimulation?
- Do you need validation from ‘likes’ or comments others make about your posts, photos etc?
Dig below the surface and see what comes up.
Take a reality check on your life
Be really honest with yourself about what you are doing with your time and energy. Do you feel you are fulfilling your own unique role in the grand scheme of things?
If not, what can you do to get in touch with what it is that you, and only you are here to do?
Rather than trying to mimic or live someone else’s life, which will only lead to trouble, focus on what it is that sparks your inner fire and follow the scent. When you are living your life’s purpose and fulfilling what it is you are here to do, you will most likely feel a greater sense of satisfaction and joy permeating your days, no matter how seemingly ‘mundane’ or ‘ordinary’ the tasks you carry out on a day to day basis may be.
There is a great Zen saying: 'Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.'
Nature’s here to help you
If you find yourself struggling to change your behaviours when it comes to social media and technology use, turning to nature for help is one of the best ways to reset yourself. Take a walk in nature, sit in the garden, go to the beach, walk barefoot on the grass... all of these things help to put you back in sync with the natural rhythms and cycles of nature that we are fundamentally attuned to.
Another great way to help you establish a healthy relationship with social media and technology is by using First Light Natural Health® De-Tox Support©.
De-Tox Support© contains a special blend of five New Zealand native plant essences that are great for helping you break unproductive and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour and implement new, healthy patterns. This supportive 100% natural botanical infusion is easy to take and can be used anytime, by anyone to help re-establish healthy behaviours while gently releasing outmoded, outworn attitudes and ways of being.
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Flickr Creative Commons Image via Thank you for visiting my page, Susanne Nilsson, Jorge Gonzalez
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