Whoever after a long day at work or school has tried to clear their mind and pick up their mobile phone to connect to social media?
And how did you feel after going through your friends, family and acquaintances' publications?
We continue to slide through the posts and see that one of our friends was dining at the most popular restaurant of the moment, or an acquaintance is taking an incredible journey, sharing their risky and exciting adventures. Little by little, we realize that almost all the publications that appear on our screen are much more interesting than lying on the sofa and resting. And so, we are faced with a feeling of restlessness that is a combination of exclusion, self-criticism and envy.
Well, if you've ever felt this way or feel this way often, let me tell you that you're not the only one and that you're experiencing something that is defined as Fear of Missing Out, better known as FoMO.
So let's go step by step to understand what this means, what is the impact on our mental health and how best to deal with this feeling.
--- What is FoMO?
Fear of being left out (FoMO) refers to a feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives or experiencing better experiences than you. It involves a deep sense of envy and has a big impact on our self-esteem. This feeling is often exacerbated by social media such as Facebook or Instagram. On social networks everything looks so easy and so perfect, right?!
Social networks are the perfect tool to create exaggerated or falsified representations of our life, which makes envy understandable to arise.
Attention! Feeling FoMO is not just about the idea that we could be doing better things than being at home, lying on the couch, but the feeling that we are missing out on a fundamentally important experience that others are doing. And that can refer to a trip to the most insane restaurant in your city for a promotion in the workplace.
FoMO is related to a feeling of social exclusion or anxiety and can be felt so intensely that it can lead people to stop doing what they are doing at the moment and join or stay connected to social networks to know for sure. which is happening in real time.
We can then say that the Fear of Being Left Out is based on the desire to establish a connection with others, for better or for worse, which affects all social groups regardless of their age.
--- Why do I feel FoMO?
Well, first of all, we should be aware that it is very difficult to stop comparing our lives to others. The point is that in the past we could observe and even envy the lives of others, but we were not in contact with almost everyone's reality, every day, all the time. That's where social networks have such a great weight that make us restless more intensely and frequently.
We think we will be more satisfied scrolling social media and the exact opposite happens.
People who have lower self-esteem, sense of success, self-efficacy and productivity are more likely to compare themselves negatively with their peers. So, in short, we are looking at the lives of others more than we are looking at our own. Instead of paying attention to our life, we resort to social networks in the search for happiness.
--- What to do to minimize FOMO?
1. Change your focus of attention – instead of noticing what you're missing, try noticing what you already have;
2. Start a journal – instead of waiting for external approval, sit down and write about the little things that make you happy and that make you feel like you're moving towards what's really important to you;
3. Seek to establish real relationships – if you feel you need to establish relationships with others, do it in “real life”. Invite a friend to dinner, join a social group activity. Put away your phone!
4. Focus on gratitude;
5. Be mindful – live in the present moment, here and now. Enjoy what is happening right now!
6. Share – Don't forget you're not the only one who feels this way. All of us, at some point in our lives, are afraid to be left out. Share what you feel. It will help you change your perspective and increase your perception of belonging and acceptance.