With smartphones and social media broadcasting their beautifully-edited realities into our lives, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is real! Here are some tips to counter this, and enjoy life!
In an age where there are so many things to do, it’s no surprise that our daily life seems busier than ever! But all of these activities and responsibilities can also leave us with a big case of FOMO. While it might not sound like a real thing, our screen-centric lives can lead to a lot of anxiety. Here are some tips to deal with it:
What Is FOMO?
FOMO might sound like a trendy expression used in adolescence, but it’s actually a disorder that affects many people. While we’ve all experienced this type of anxiety to some extent, this ailment has become significantly worse in recent years. Smartphones have made us available to anyone at any time. And, the emergence of social media has further increased anxiety in our lives. Not only can this lead to loneliness and mental health issues, but it can also cause us to miss out on life. There was a time it seemed possible to focus on one task, but nowadays it’s difficult to stay present.
What Are the Causes of FOMO?
When the mediums of television and newspaper existed, there weren’t as many outside influences pulling at us. Unfortunately, in an age of smartphones, there is always something to be reading or looking at. Whether it’s Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, there are many social media forums where we’re always available.
Given our cultural focus on access, we get information constantly! It may be a friend texting, a Facebook post or a tweet, but the amount of information is limitless. Unfortunately, all of this information disconnects us from living in the present. It can lead to boredom and dissatisfaction with the moment. It can also lead to social anxiety related to the fear of missing out on life.
How Do You Stop FOMO?
Fear of missing out research indicates that this anxiety is caused by emotion and attachment. Fortunately, there are many ways to fight off the adverse impacts of FOMO.
- Be Aware – Getting caught up in our smartphones can be an addiction. An important way to combat this is to stay aware. Most of us get accustomed to the stimulation our phones provide. But, it’s important to make note of how often you look at your phone. If you’re talking with a friend, the Facebook feed can probably wait until later. Or, if you’re spending time in nature, you don’t need to scroll through the news. Being aware of the temptation can be the first step in avoiding the fear of missing out.
- Focus on One Thing – In a busy world, most of us take pride in our ability to multitask. However, there are times when it’s good to slow down and focus on real life. Whether it’s playing with your child, having coffee with a friend or reading, be attentive to what you’re doing. According to psychiatrist Edward M. Hallowell, multi-tasking is a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously as effectively as one.” If you’re putting half your attention into your phone, you’re not paying attention to what you’re doing.
- Slow Down – In addition to being busy, most of us are always in a rush to get somewhere. Instead of rushing, slow down and enjoy the moment. Whether you’re eating, cooking or watching a movie, be present and focus on the chosen task. It’s possible you won’t get everything done. However, you may feel more energetic and enjoy your life more in the process. It’s good psychological medicine to pay attention to the present!
FOMO may seem like a buzzword, but the psychology behind the fear of missing out is a real thing. If you’ve struggled with FOMO, let us know how you’ve dealt with it in our comments. There may be a million things to do in the world, but you’ll only enjoy them by giving them your all!