After a long day, you want to wind down by mindlessly browsing your Instagram or Facebook. You see a picture of your friend’s fine dining date with her lovely boyfriend. Another friend’s post of his beach holiday in the Maldives. As you scroll through them, you realise restlessness and intense emotions building up, and you wonder why? Well, I certainly had this experience too.
The feelings I was experiencing were complex as it is a combination of envy and anxiety. If you feel the same, just know that you are not alone. This is due to the social media phenomenon – fear of missing out or FOMO. With the advent of social media, it is becoming common for us to experience some degree of FOMO in our lives. Needless to say, the FOMO has contributed to our poor mental health as we constantly compare ourselves with the falsified representation of others.
To combat FOMO, I cut out social media by uninstalling all the social media applications for a week, and I caught myself wandering in the app store two days later! Undeniably, it is a rocky start but I’m glad that I’ve pulled through and in turn, it helped me to shift focus to myself and be present. Now, I feel more in control of my relationship with social media, where I add feeds that make me happy and remove those that can trigger my FOMO.
A kind reminder to everyone that what we see online isn’t always the full and real representation of one’s life. So, be kind to yourself and do what works best for you!