How To: Cure Your FOMO
It’s a problem students find themselves facing on the daily: you’re working, when you feel an urge. Open Snapchat. Open Instagram. Resume work. Rinse and repeat. FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is especially common in secondary school students, whose perception of their own self-importance and likability can be largely influenced by their social status. This feeling is one to which many of us can relate, plaguing our thoughts with anxiety, an issue of growing concern among students.
We aren’t always conscious of our self-destructive, FOMO-inducing behaviour, so I’ve compiled a list with which you can see if you can identify. I’ve dug through online sources and have compiled my personal favourite tips on combating FOMO. Please keep in mind I am only a seventeen-year-old boy and that these tips are ones that I’ve found personally beneficial, but may not apply to everyone.
Accepting Your Self-Worth
A large source of FOMO is not being comfortable enough with yourself to think that time spent alone is time worth spending. The blunt reality of the situation: you’re stuck with yourself. Thinking that you are unable to enjoy yourself if you’re not doing something social is a mindset that will only limit how and when you can enjoy your free time. Simply put, the fun of others does not discredit your own. Strive to be comfortable with the idea that there are a million uses of your time, and they should not be discredited purely because they’re not “IG-worthy”. Be comfortable enough with yourself that you don’t need to be dependent on others to enjoy yourself.
Acknowledging The Futility of Doing Everything
New experiences may be appealing because of their novelty, but that doesn’t excuse ignoring pre-existing responsibilities. Understand that life, despite social media painting a different story, isn’t all fun and games. Life is a balance of work and play, and a healthy medium is necessary to stay content. Acting on every impulse your FOMO triggers is not only impossible on a pragmatic level, but it isn’t guaranteed to bring you the happiness and fulfilment you think it will. Ask yourself if you really want to experience the things you see on Snapchat or if you are idealizing what others do. Coming to terms with these facts is a step in the right direction of eliminating your FOMO.
Putting Down Your Phone
Studies have shown the increase in FOMO among teenagers has been linked to the use of social media. This is obvious when we look at the situation: constantly monitoring others lives and their experiences have produced a culture of wanting to be emotionally stimulated all the time. We watch vlogs, only post the highlights of our day, and are simultaneously conscious and subconscious of the fact that our online presence doesn’t define us—it’s a tiny, hand-picked, colour-corrected, socially-sanctioned compilation of ourselves. Putting down your phone, closing the Facebook tab on your computer, and resisting urges to check your socials can have enormous effects on your FOMO and increased satisfaction with your own life.
These tips are not the be all and end all cure to your FOMO, but with persistence, they will limit the controlling effects FOMO has on your life.