Have You Fallen Victim To F.O.M.O.?

Have You Fallen Victim To F.O.M.O.?

It is the national epidemic expanding at a rapid rate, and the potential to catch it is right at your fingertips.
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F.O.M.O. Fear of Missing Out.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, F.O.M.O. is the anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on social media.

It is a national epidemic slowly taking over the globe, and you are in its direct path of destruction. If you have not already succumbed to the illness, I assure you, your time will come.

I have in fact been personally victimized by F.O.M.O. At first, I thought that this constant anxiousness and worry of being forgotten about was due to another struggle: only-child syndrome. (Although not included in the Oxford Dictionary, this disorder is hitting hard against only children everywhere, who feel they may be missing out due to a lack of sibling entertainment).

However, after some thorough research into the issue, I found the real culprit of my feelings - and it’s right on the surface.

Literally, a surface of technology that has taken over our lives. The screen of your mobile device is something that the average person in today’s society looks at 2,617 times a day, according to a study done by DSCOUT . That is a lot of exposure time.

With the astronomical spikes in social media use over the past few years, the stats show that this is where people get most of their screen exposure from. The average human spends one hour and 56 minutes, 8% of their day, on the top 5 social media platforms (Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube). Now in the grand scheme of things, that brings the exposure of technology, and the exposure of other people's personal lives, to an all time high. Never at any point in history have people's daily lives been easier to follow than in 2017. This is exactly our problem.

When we spend downwards of 171 minutes, 12% of our day as tested by ComScore Mobile Metrix , on our phones absorbing ourselves in other people's lives, we end up taking away from our own lives. Of course, we feel like we’re missing out because we literally are!

Between Instagram live videos and Snap Stories, I am fully aware of everything my friends (and also some random half-acquaintances) are up to at any given moment. With Snapchat I can literally track people’s exact location and see who else is with them. The easiest way to find my friends on campus is simply to open my snap maps rather than text a group chat - it’s faster than waiting for them to text back.

Every time I see a photo or video of people together without me, I get this panicked feeling like I have been forgotten about. What's the most ironic part of this though? The majority of the time this happens, I was invited along with everyone else! I made the choice not to go.

Yet once it's posted, all I can think about is all of the laughs I missed out on, and the inside jokes they will surely have next time I see them. The reality of it is that these photos/videos were probably taken within a 5 minute time period, and the most I missed out on was a quick laugh that no one will even remember tomorrow. But once the Snap Story is posted, it’s too late.

My brain is repeatedly beating myself up for the next 24 hours, full of regret and anxiety, and a promise to never ever ever under any circumstances miss out on anything ever again.

But there's an easier solution here! It is a cure I have found that may seem much more painful than other treatments, but the results are immediate. Turn off your phone. In less serious cases of the disorder, even just refraining from checking social media will do the trick! It all comes back to the same thing, exposure. If you aren't exposed to all the Snap Stories and Facebook posts, you won't catch the feels. You will be free from the emotional distress and mental side effects of missing out, and you will live a F.O.M.O. free life!

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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Community VS. Friendship

Sure, we've all got friends, but do we have constant community to lift us up?

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A couple of nights ago one of my very best friends and I went on our usual Sonic Drive-In run and proceeded to the beach straight after. Amidst the conversation, I found myself thinking about the importance of community in college.

She and I spoke about of our most favorite moments in our college career, most of which involved the community that we have acquired over the past four years. This was when I began to realize that there is a small but significant line between just having "friends," and having a real life-giving community.

My community consists of my sorority sisters, friends in other sororities, and friends from home. These are the people that hold me to a standard of grace, without judgment.

These people are not just the people who I go out with on a Friday night or after a sorority function, but the people that take the time to invest in me. Keyword: INVEST.

With our culture nowadays, most people are just concerned with having people to go out with and have a good time, but what about when life isn't as smooth?

Who is going to be at your apartment at 2 AM when you think your world is crashing down and the guy you invested a piece of your heart into just isn't that into you anymore?

Who is going to be by your side Sunday morning when you're attempting to fill that void in your heart and yearning for true love that nobody of the flesh and in this world can provide?

Having community is not the mere art of having friends to go to dinner with, but having a constant force behind you always.

When you don't have the strength just to keep trying, these are the people regularly communicating with you and investing IN you.

While we might always have "friends," let us assess if we are surrounding ourselves with a life-giving community.

After all, we are called to live in a community and be that for those who are struggling.

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