Combating the Dreaded “Fear of Missing Out” or FOMO
In a world where social media and personal branding are the norm it can be hard to get clear on who we are minus the promotion and labels. Especially when a quick scroll down LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram shows nothing but post after post of seemingly perfect lives. Posts of sunsets on beaches, beautifully arranged food or a new business card all seem to say, “I’ve made it.”
The reality is each post is carefully crafted for optimal impact. Most posts highlight the positive details, the milestones and the culmination of a hard-fought goal. Bad days receive much less notice, and when they’re there it’s generally to garner a kind word or help. As a result, a mindless scroll has the potential to create FOMO, the fear of missing out.
First identified in 1996 by Dr. Dan Herman, FOMO is the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may be currently happening elsewhere. It’s a feeling commonly created by posts on social media. Seeing post after post of potential opportunities, things other people are currently enjoying, stirs a desire to be doing the same or better. Depending on where you’re at, this might make sense and be a catalyst for good things, or it could create unnecessary anxiety.
Stress created as a result can be associated with other negatives such as fatigue, stress, problems sleeping and psychosomatic symptoms. It can also show up in a desire to do too much and an inability to say no. At its most extreme, FOMO manifests in people ignoring what’s happening now in order to create a future fantasy based on the perceived experiences of others.
- Admit FOMO can influence anyone’s life. It’s up to you to decide how it will impact your feelings day-to-day.
- Limit the use of social media and how you use it. Social media rarely makes anyone already feeling bad, feel better after scrolling through a feed.
- Decide what you really want to do. Envy is often a result of not taking the steps to do what we want to do. As a result, it’s easier to live vicariously through someone else.
- Find ways to enjoy and live in the present moment. Now is all that really counts. We can’t change the past and the future is unknown.
- Cultivate gratitude by looking for the little things that bring you joy. These small things add up to a life well-lived.
- Understand your priorities and what’s important to you. Chase your dreams with confidence. Only you know what makes you happy. Trying to mimic someone else’s life rarely feels fulfilling because it’s not your life and your dream.
This life tip is brought to you by Staffing Kansas City, a full-service Kansas City employment agency that specializes in providing “Personnel Services with a Personal Touch”.