Get Over That FOMO (Feeling of missing out)

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The internet can be a beautiful thing. It keeps us connected — Facebook even serves as a digital archive of our entire lives. In hundreds of years to come, famous artists, poets, writers and musicians won’t be remembered by carefully hand written letters sent to lovers and members of their family. Instead, their comings and goings will forever be kept stored on the Facebook ‘Timeline’. So, yes, there are many great reasons for having the internet. Any nugget of information at your fingertips in a nanosecond is another benefit. However, the boom in social networking has brought about a whole host of other new problems, the main one being loneliness and a state of being coined the ‘Feeling Of Missing Out’.

With such unlimited access to people’s lives and daily movements, it’s very easy to feel as if our own lives aren’t quite matching up. We seem to forget that we ourselves only post photographs when we’ve had a great time at a party, trip abroad or evening at an event and likewise only write statuses when we have fantastic news to share or a funny anecdote. Our lives aren’t always that exciting. Days go by when we don’t post photographs. And everybody is like that. However, we forget that, and become consumed by what we perceive as friends’ frequent photographs and comments to others about the “great party [they] are going to tonight!!”

Even if we have been invited by said friend to the “great party”, and you can’t go, you still feel like crap when, the next day, you check Facebook to see the photos documenting the fantastic time they had drinking expensive wine and partying into the early hours. We feel like our lives just don’t compare and a weird feeling of irrational loneliness/sadness creeps up. Well – you can banish this!

I sometimes feel like this – this horrid FOMO – and I have come up with some techniques to get over it.

Firstly – a photograph isn’t a proper reflection of how ‘fabulous’ a night is. Okay if there are 300 photographs of beautiful looking people smiling constantly, swigging Champagne and snogging Channing Tatum lookalikes then perhaps the night really was that good. But that’s a very unlikely scenario. In reality, a few photographs are a mere mili-second snapshot of a night and most people will smile and look merry in a photograph because you don’t really want to look miserable in a photograph. So, don’t get too consumed by photographs on FB. Just think about the great parties you go to. Are you in every photograph? Or are you more busy having a good time? Exactly.

Secondly – Think long and hard, is your life really that boring? Or are you just one of those people, like me, that don’t carry a camera around with you at ALL times or document your every movement in the form of a FB status? I think/hope my life isn’t that dull (!) – it’s just that I know for a fact that I don’t put it all up for everyone to see, so, really, not everybody knows that I had a great time last night unless I personally tell them.

Finally – Just try and accept that FB is a place where people are going to try and look their best and present themselves in the best way possible – through statuses that show off what a perfect life they’re living or blatant comments to friends bragging about the latest Chanel handbag they’ve bought. For some, like myself, I occasionally upload photographs that make me smile and every now and then I will post a status. But rarely. What I’m trying to say, is don’t take everything at face value. Just because FB shows so-and-so’s life to be far more exciting and thrilling than yours, just remember that you don’t really know what’s going on behind the computer screen.

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