I absolutely hate missing out on activities. If I’m unable to join my friends or family in doing something I perceive to be fun, I’ll sit wherever I am with a serious pout, scanning social media to see exactly what I’m missing out on. Even worse are the times I wasn’t asked to join a party or outing, and see tons of pictures of the event popping up everywhere. Admittedly, I got really pi**ed over that type of thing on multiple occasions. Once I literally had to turn my phone off for a few hours. I have a chronic and serious case of FOMO, what can I say?
FOMO is the acronym for “Fear Of Missing Out,” and I’m not — by far — the only one who gets it. Ever skipped dinner with your friends not thinking twice about it, only to find out it turned into drinks, and bar hopping, and a house party, and what they call, “the best night ever”? Then, the next day you’re hearing people speak about it and internally kicking yourself. The struggle is real.
It’s very difficult to find time to say “yes” to everything, in fact it’s impossible. It’s inevitable that we can’t be present for every single get-together. It’s just how we mentally handle missing out that determines whether we’re OK with it, or it’s going to eat us up inside. In an effort to get our minds right, let’s consider how to ban FOMO. Here are five ways to avoid feeling FOMO — seven things, I, myself, have been practicing too.
1. Realize That You Might Not Actually Be Missing Out
When you think closely about it, social media is really more of a reflection of who we want to be, rather than who we really are. The bigger issue is that when social media and FOMO collide, we might find we’re comparing ourselves to these exaggerated lives of others. We’ll never match up to it, because it’s simply not realistic.
Stop and realize these lives you’re witnessing online don’t actually exist. Remember the last several times you hung out with a friend and she frowned in the corner the whole time, yet somehow managed to post a few fun and wild pictures from those nights? It’s more than likely she’s pulling the same thing when you’re at home right now with FOMO. It’s very simple to post the highs and omit the lows. Keep that in mind before you let yourself get too upset.
2. Avoid Over-Using Social Media
Here may be the root of your problem. As discussed above, social media offers up a fantasy world, so seeing people post these figuratively fantastic posts when you’re not there can feel like a shot to the heart. Aside from realizing the posts don’t necessarily offer a realistic view of what the event is like, there is another very simple solution: Avoid social media. I’m not recommending you give it up forever, but perhaps take the night off from scrolling through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and instead focus on whatever you are currently doing. Is it a foolproof way to kill FOMO? No. Will it help? Absolutely!
3. Don’t Be So Hard On Yourself For Staying In
Sometimes, we just need a break from it all. According to WebMD, we genuinely need that necessary “me time.” Many of us don’t know how to do that without a lingering feeling of guilt hanging over us. We can always find a million things to be doing at any given time, but calm down and give yourself a pass for the day or night. Give yourself permission to rest, and relax without thinking of what else you can or should be doing. Staying in and doing this once in awhile is good for you, and by coming to terms with this, it’ll help you slowly lose that FOMO feeling.
4. Host A Party Or Plan A Group Outing
First, if you’re organizing the event, obviously you won’t have to worry about not getting invited to participate. Instant bonus! Second, you get to be somewhat in control of how the day or evening goes. You have the ability to make it genuinely a really fun time, so plan something you know your attendees will enjoy (e.g., if you’re all into winter sports, organize a ski weekend). Everyone will be happy, and so will you.
5. Be OK With Not Being Able To Do It All
There aren’t endless hours in the day, and if there were, we’d all be jumping for joy in that we’d not only be able to finish everything we need to at work, but we’d never have to miss out on spending time with our friends and family. Unfortunately, that will never be the case. We need to pick and choose what things we can say “yes” to, and be OK with the fact that we simply can’t say “yes” to everything. If you’re concerned about not getting invited to things in the future, be sure to explain to whomever invited you that, while your schedule won’t allow it this time, they’re a priority next time. Ultimately, try your best to find a balance.
FOMO might seem difficult to fight off, but with a little practice, we can all be better at avoiding it. By using the tips mentioned here, you can help yourself feel a bit more calm, cool and collected next time you have to miss out on a get-together.
Check out my related post:How to make social media addictive?