I believe the disease “FOMO” is afflicting most Americans today. Do you suffer from this as well? For those of you that don’t know, this ailment dubbed “FOMO” stands for, “Fear of Missing Out”.
C’mon… you know you have it. You see that your friend on Facebook is on a week-long cruise to Greece and you wish you were there. Your other friend is getting married and if you have to look at one more romantically beautiful/sweet shot of them sharing an intimate moment, you’re going to hurt someone. My favorite is the never-ending stream of scrumptious-looking meals from apparently every trendy restaurant in town that I can’t afford. Who are you people and where the heck do you live?? What is your job that you can afford this life?
When I was feeling really down about myself and my own life a few years ago, I deleted my Facebook account. I realized that I was crippled by FOMO and wanting to turn on my family because I didn’t have the Instagram or Facebook-worthy photos displaying how perfectly fun and lovely our lives are. Signing off Facebook for a few months allowed me to breathe and relax. I realized I have a pretty darned good life with a man who loves me and children I adore.
While on my Facebook hiatus, I took some time to reflect about what I saw on the newsfeeds and now I feel better what I see. I realized that I have never met someone who is a total zealot about life. Let’s face it, it’s a total buzzkill to have to pay bills, sort laundry, and clean the toilets. We all suffer heartbreak and disappointments. Where are those photos?? We all have down days…we just tend not to document it.
I try to no longer be envious about other’s lives. That friend who is on their cruise to Greece? Maybe she survived cancer and realized she never took a vacation before. The couple getting married? Fingers crossed that their marriage survives in this hard world. And why shouldn’t they have hundreds of pictures documenting one of the most special days of their lives…they may need those pictures later when they’re struggling as a couple. And all those scrumptious-looking meals? Well that person is just being a showoff! Okay, okay…I’m kidding. I now look at those pics and think, “Hmmm…is that a restaurant I want to try?” or “Can I find that recipe online?”.
I keep in mind that all is not what it appears to be. One of my favorite vids about FOMO is here. Another hilarious take is here. Although funny, they are good reminders that things aren’t actually always picture-perfect.
I’m not saying I don’t want others to be happy and have joyous experiences–it’s quite the opposite! I’m genuinely happy to see when others have a moment of joy they’ve captured for Facebook or Instagram. We need those moments in life to help us through the darker stuff we sometimes suffer. And the next time I feel FOMO taking over, I know all I have to do is go online and see what’s happening in town. #TimeForSelfies
CJ Heath tries to keep her FOMO at bay with art events, classes, and just plain getting out of the house. How do YOU combat FOMO?