Do you have the fear of missing out?
This month’s FAFE: The Need To Be Cool.
This Week: Do you have FOMO?
The Fear of Missing Out
I’m just going to put it out there.
There’s often a lot of things I want to do but can’t physically because I just don’t have infinite time.
Don’t get me wrong, we all have those superhero qualities within us;
-right after the moment we decide we want to give up is usually when we find an inner strength to carry on.
Sometimes we admit defeat & admit we can’t be in multiple places at once, that we need more than 5 hours of sleep or just that we need to take sometime to be alone.
Part of facing a fear this month is not worrying about being ‘cool’.
I’ve found that a lot of that is linked with the fear of missing out or #FOMO (and yes, this hashtag already exists!)
Facebook. Twitter. Instagram.
I think by now, we are all aware that social media has a role in aggravating our fear of missing out.
As useful as it is to virtually share memories, milestones with friends and family, social media can also be a façade.
I can see why constantly seeing beautiful babies, weddings and holiday photos may cause others, at different stages of life, to somehow feel that something may be missing in their own.
Don’t compare your ‘behind the scenes’ to someone’s highlight reel.
It’s easy to say, right?
Harder when your news feed is full to the brim & you feel like you’ve missed out on a party, a friend’s birthday or just not hanging out at the newest place to be event.
Why not scrap social media altogether?
During university, my friends were used to me deactivating Facebook and just generally seeing me become a bit of a hermit. Removing myself from social media made it a lot easier stay focused on revising or writing theses.
It’s been a while since I’ve taken such an extreme social media cleanse though.
Presently I am trying to balance my unplugging.
I’ve written before about un-plugging; it’s what I like to do before I go to bed until the mornings when I’m ready.
Remaining unplugged from social media, my phone and computer until I’m ready is part of my morning routine.
Mornings are a precious time for me. Doing a full time PhD means unpredictable hours, long 12-24 hour experiments and generally coming home exhausted. Writing, though has always been a passion of mine, be it a closeted one until recently. The mornings are when I feel most alert, refreshed and allow enough time for me to write before heading in to the lab for 9am.
There’s something magical about waking up before everyone else, and taking time for oneself, be it in the form of morning yoga, meditation, journaling, writing or all the above.
That time in the morning is my time and no-one else’s.
I don’t want to allow my mood to be dictated by how many holiday sunsets I see on my instagram feed, couple selfies or feel left out from a party or a wedding that I couldn’t attend.
What works for me may not work for others, granted.
But in my mind, there is a time and a place for me to scroll through my instagram and twitter feed and that for me, does not need to happen when I first wake up.
Back to my friend’s comment, Why not give it up altogether?
It’s an interesting thought which I have even contemplated.
A couple of friend’s have commented saying they would, but they didn’t want to miss out on event organisation. Facebook after all, for a lot of us has become the failsafe way of organizing large amounts of people, whether it be on a small scale, such as a birthday or a larger fundraiser type event.
Someone else commented: ‘I need it to remember people’s birthdays’ ‘No one would know it’s your birthday without Facebook’.
Facebook can be a lot of things for different people.
What is Facebook for me?
A tool for event planning.
A means of communication; so many of my friends and family now live so far away from me that it helps share parts of our life with one another.
Engineering a video call on Facebook, to skype later and to record my cousin’s first steps from thousands of miles away? Those precious moments are priceless.
For me it’s less about people remembering my birthday.
I would rather have the people that know me wish me via a personal text or phone call rather than stack up a tally of how many people are writing a happy birthday on my wall.
Going cold turkey on an addiction is one thing, be it for smoking, alcohol or even social media. Smoking, alcohol, social media.
It’s hard, but doable.
What I find even more challenging though is to be surrounded by temptation and not succumb.
The pros of social media out do the cons.
There may be a time in my life where I do feel the need to remove myself entirely again.
But the other part of me wants to develop self discipline.
I want to train myself to get into the habit of using social media to the best of its ability, and less so as a means to procrastinate and diverge from a purpose, such as message a friend.
Because let’s face it, used in a positive way, social media has a powerful use, least of all to spread good news or awareness.
I feel like we’re only just realizing the influence of social media and to cut it out completely from one’s life would be a shame.
The fear of missing out is one thing I want to tackle not through avoidance, but through self-discipline. And though it might be easier to go completely cold turkey on social media, I want to train myself to appreciate my own self worth, which is completely irrespective of social media.
So why share this little thought-burst online then?
I’ve spoken about it before but holding myself accountable is something I struggled with.
Avoidance and self-discipline was difficult for me.
But by sharing it on a platform that is important to me, I hold myself accountable to follow through.
Along the way, if that helps anyone else out in feeling the same then that will be an added bonus.
Until the next time, with love::
Ana | The Asian Destination xo
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