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What Is FOMO and How You Can Control It

What Is FOMO and How You Can Control It

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Buckling under any pressure or giving in to fear and anxiety is detrimental to our health. 

Social media has conquered our lives over the last decade and this has given rise to several psychological disorders such as addiction to online shopping, spending long hours scrolling through social media feeds, making unhealthy comparisons, depression, loneliness, etc. FOMO or fear of missing out is one of them.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA):

“In 2013 the word “FOMO” was officially added to the Oxford Dictionary. This clever acronym, which stands for fear of missing out, was coined to describe that anxious feeling that can arise when you feel there is a more exciting prospect that is happening elsewhere — and unfortunately, you’re not there.”

Anxiety and Depression Associated of America (ADAA)

Introduction

Social media is gradually becoming a dangerous tool, one which is being increasingly used to present untrue and false interpretations of people’s lives. Like everything, social media has its cons too. However, it is up to each one of us to control its use and overcome addiction. 

If you find yourself constantly wanting to be at social gatherings with friends, colleagues, peers even when you don’t want to, there is a problem. FOMO forces us to place everything and everyone else before ourselves and our well-being. For example, if we are not in the mood to be at a particular party because we simply don’t fit in with the set of people present there, we still make it a point to be present. Why is that? That is FOMO! You feel like you will miss out on taking those group selfies or miss out on all the great food at the party; you want to know what people are wearing, what they are talking about, etc. because you feel inadequate if you don’t.

This means that FOMO stems from a deep sense of insecurity and a sense of low self-worth and esteem. When we become stronger internally and become self-sufficient, FOMO or not, nothing can control us. So, if your FOMO is getting the better of you leaving you exhausted and helpless, worry not! We have a few suggestions that could help you overcome your FOMO:

1. Full Acceptance Of Yourself

Accepting yourself for who you are is very important. Self-love is the most important value or asset one can have. Loving yourself for your unique strengths and weaknesses will propel us to accept ourselves and not deride ourselves by making comparisons with others. So what if someone throws great parties and you cannot? So what if you don’t have a fancy car that costed someone else a fortune? You too have something that they don’t, for example, a job where your opinion and expertise are highly valued or colleagues who respect you, your compassion for animals, etc. Accept your strengths and good qualities and you will find yourself focusing lesser and lesser on others and what they are doing. 

2. Acceptance Of The Problem

Secondly, accepting that you have a problem that needs to be treated is even more important for you to open up to receive help. Very often, we choose not to accept our mistakes or anything adverse about ourselves. It takes courage to own up to one’s mistakes, faults, and problems. When we accept an issue like FOMO, we begin to think of ways to address it. FOMO is not the end of the world; there are people who are fighting battles that are far worse and challenging. However, if not addressed in time, FOMO can turn into something sinister and stop you from living the life you’ve always wanted. So, if you have FOMO, admit it, and accept it.

3. Disconnect From Social Media

This may sound drastic but it is the root of the problem! When we weed out the very root of any problem, we need not worry about it. If you find yourself constantly scrolling through social media feeds and stalking peoples’ profiles and updates on Whatsapp or even constantly feeling the need to call people all the time to know what’s going on, simply disconnect. Shift the focus to more important things that fall in your area of influence. Spend time with your children, focus on getting fit, learn a new hobby, knit, sew, and do whatever makes you happy.

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4. Get Busy

While being busy all the time is not advisable for anybody, it may just work to control your growing FOMO. You can try this till you get rid of your FOMO without feeling burned out DO only what you can and don’t stretch yourself to the point of exhaustion. Getting busy does not mean always learning a new hobby or doing something you love. It can mean having a long bath and just sitting with yourself and have self-talk. It can mean watching a movie that makes you feel good or reading a book on self-improvement or anything else that may interest you. If your parents or a close relative is still around, give them a call and confide in them. People who care about us mean well and will always give us the right advice.

5. Declutter And Detox Your Life

Ask yourself who are these people because of whom you have developed a FOMO? Are they your real friends? Or are you simply trying to keep up with the Joneses? If you have answered yes then it’s time to distance them and/or even cut them out. and constantly feel the need to keep up with them, chances are they are not worth your time. If they really wanted you in their lives, they wouldn’t create a sense of insecurity.

Chances are they are enjoying the attention you are giving them and talking about it behind your back! But what are you getting in return? You are wasting your time and losing your self-respect! So cut out the toxicity and replace your life with positivity. Get involved in a charity, support a good cause, practice mindfulness, and find joy in the little things that life has to offer. 

Conclusion

The advent of social media has created some serious problems for people all over the world. From addiction to anxiety and depression, social media is proven to be the reason for much mental distress and chaos. Constant comparisons and exposure to edited, morphed and filtered images have made people question their self worth and lose their self-respect.

Fear of missing out or FOMO is a result not just of social media but a low sense of self-worth that may have been partially caused by social media addiction. Click To Tweet

Fear of missing out or FOMO is a result not just of social media but a low sense of self-worth that may have been partially caused by social media addiction. Constantly wanting to know what others are doing by prioritizing our well-being and mental health is basically what FOMO is. Although on the surface it looks seems a frivolous issue, it is to be taken seriously. If not, it can snowball into serious harm. The key to fighting FOMO is celebrating your life for what it is and who you really are.

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