Technology has changed the way we do things in various ways — there's our communication, the way we do our work, the way we make friends, and all these gadget-centric practices that have been embedded into our daily lives.
But it is quite fascinating, or maybe even saddening, that this same innovation has been handing us some of our own fears; one in particular that piqued my interest is the notion of FOMO or the Fear Of Missing Out. And since you clicked on this article, then you're most likely one of these: (1) you're curious as to what it means or (2) you have felt this way and you wanted a solution.
Officially added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2013, it's quite surprising to me — a millennial — to have heard of this term just recently. Defined as "the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media," I can't help but wonder if this is any different than envy. Surely, this is the same thing, only modernised to fit the context of the 21st century and our supposed dependence on technology. And as I stated above, since our lives are currently intertwined with our smartphones and our social media presence, the problem is as plain as day: is FOMO inevitable? Spoiler alert: no, it's not.
Now, before you go protesting and tell me that it is unavoidable, read on as I share with you tips on how to deal with this dilemma, once and for all.
Enjoy the little things
Saw someone posting photos of their beach trip on Instagram? It is understandable that it can make you feel sad to just stay at home when everyone else is practically basking under the sun. But surely, there are other things to be grateful about. All you have to do is sit back and appreciate the simpler things around you.
Instead of comparing how boring your home-cation is in contrast to someone else's grand getaway, appreciate the movie marathon you've had or the home-cooked meal your mum specially cooked for you and your family. And not to mention sleep — having plenty of time to catch some much-needed rest is something a lot of people would trade for.
It's all a matter of perspective
We often present our best selves in our social media profiles, and it doesn't always mean that our lives are picture-perfect in reality; same goes for everyone else around us. Just because you're not posting as often as your Facebook friends, doesn't mean they're living their lives more fully than you.
The thing is, whether you're on a plane to Paris or simply roasting barbecue in your own backyard, it may seem like something you can't compare; but in reality, your own happiness lies solely on how you see and feel things from within. A little optimism goes a long way, trust me. Plus, just think of the chances that somewhere in this world, there's someone wishing they could do the exact same thing you're doing or have the same things you are entitled to right now.
You are the captain of your own life
Instead of being bitter about how life is treating you, remember that you are in charge of it. Be practical about your current situation, and avoid fixating on other people's activities or achievements. Use what you see in them as your personal goal, and not something you will simply mull over and feel bad about.
Can't go on a trip because of your busy schedule? Stop moping around over someone else's trip abroad, and instead, plan something for the next long weekend to keep yourself motivated. Needed to prioritise other things so you can't buy a new phone? Don't torture yourself by seething with envy over someone bragging about their new iPhone on Instagram; set it as your goal, work harder, and save up!
The key to getting rid of FOMO is to start focusing on your own life instead of someone else's because at the end of the day, these people you're envious of won't give up their iPhones or their trip to Paris for you. You have to make those things happen on your own.