If you often think the grass is greener on the other side, then look again. You may be experiencing FOMO – the fear of missing out. People with FOMO constantly think that they would be happier in a different set of circumstances. They feel that they are missing out on the “perfect lives” that some people project on social media. They feel a constant need to compare and measure their personal happiness against others.
FOMO is real and it can harm our mental health. It’s grounded in fear and is often triggered by social media. People with FOMO are less able to enjoy the present moment. FOMO causes chronic worry, anxiety and depression and has reached epidemic proportions, especially among adolescents and young adults.
1. Resist the urge to fill the gaps of white space with social media – for example, when standing in line in a store, dont automatically reach for your phone.
2. Resist the urge to document everything – for example, when eating in a restaurant, don’t take a picture of your food and share it with friends and then keep checking who likes your picture and who left a comment. Instead, enjoy the company and your meal.
3. Set specific times for checking social media – for example, check social media once or twice a day.