What Is FOMO?
The fear of missing out refers to the feeling or perception that others are having more fun, living better lives, or experiencing better things than you are. It involves a deep sense of envy and affects self-esteem. It is often exacerbated by social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. FOMO is not about whether you could have been doing something better at this moment, but it is feeling that you are missing out on something outstanding that others are experiencing right now.
FOMO syndrome is directly connected to your mental health, because it may increase feelings of depression and loneliness by comparing your routine life with other’s so-called happening lives. People normallyget connected to social media to share things that create a false impression of living an awesome and exciting life. They post such photographs that show them enjoying with friends, visiting hip restaurants and attending luxurious weddings, traveling to exotic locations, and doing adventure sports like paragliding, and dirt biking.
And suddenly, one starts thinking that all those people are living an amazing life. This is what begins FOMO – the feeling of fear of missing out among some people, who may find theirlives miserable in comparison to all the amazing things they see other people doing on social media.
Therefore, to avoid the feeling of FOMO, we must be cautious of how do we use the social media and the internet. They can be excellent tools to improve the quality of our lives, but they can also harm us if we don’t handle them properly. FOMO is the new realty of internet that is becoming increasingly common and is directly connectd to social media. It is also very damaging for your mental health, because it can cause a lot of stress in your life. It can affect anyone, but some people are more susceptible to its effect.
How Social Media Creates FOMO?
Social media often gives flawed perception of people’s lives. We see all the good things from other people’s lives and amazing activities they are indulging, but we rarely care to see the routine stuff such as going to the office, doing household chores, negotiating stressful days, etc…the normal things that majority of us go through. Therefore, when we judge other people’s lives based on their social media activities, we only get a brief glimpse of their personality, because their social media profiles and posts typically leans toward the more shining stuff rather than mundane things.
People are genetically programmed to make themselves look good to others. And social media does just that by giving them the opportunity to filter what information they want others to see. For example, people only post those selfies on the social media where they look good. It doesn’t matter whether that particular picture was taken at a specific angle or heavily air brushed to make it appear awesome.
Moreover, excess engagement with social media channelsmay make us feel worse about ourselves. It is important to understand that our efforts to relieve feelings of FOMO can actually lead to behaviours that may exacerbate it. Therefore, by identifying where the problem lies, however, can be a first sincere step in overcoming it. According to one study published in the journal Body Image, it was discovered that social media is directly connected to negative body images of oneself, especially among young women who are always looking at photographs of attractive model, celebrity, or a film star in Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Social comparison is an absolute dampener by spoiling our happiness and the sense of well-being. By creating such illusions among users, social media act like virtual steroids. So next time you visit your social media page, ask yourself – Is it adding to your general wellbeing, or hurting your mental health?