Deep in the murky underbelly of the internet lives the felicitous unicorn realm of Facebook, SnapChat, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram with its diverse users meticulously curating their best life; one pulchritudinous selfie at a time.
Creating your brand online is the antithesis of the 1980s generation “shaking it like a polaroid” picture. Back in the day, you took photographs sparingly because your 110 film roll only had 30 frames and you preserved them for your best portraits.
With the advent of the smartphone and artificial intelligence (AI), our social media news feeds represent the scrolling marquee of our daily existence with photos taken at every opportunity and our newsfeeds manipulated by the AI algorithms serving up the best clickable content.
According to the Pew Research Center:
Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users – and around six-in-ten Snapchat and Instagram users – visit each site daily
Our proclivities to check our social media apps as the primary source of information has given rise to social anxiety known as the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO). As described on Wikipedia FoMO as
“a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent”. This social anxiety is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.”
You might have FoMO if
- While on vacation you regularly check your work email.
- You don’t have any weekend plans, so all you do is refresh your status feed or stalk your friends status feed to see what they are doing.
- You are always comparing your life to others.
- You have the compulsion to continually refreshing your social media. The struggle is real!
- You have the mastery of taking pictures of everything. Budding paparazzi.
Three strategies for helping with FoMO:
- Realize the perfectly cultivated lives displayed on social media are just a small representation of peoples lives. No one posts lousy shit that occurs in their lives on these platforms.
- Remove social media applications from your mobile device(s). Out of sight, out of mind.
- Leverage time monitoring software or apps to track the amount of time you spend on social media platforms. I use a software Rescue Time.
Leave us a comment below on your strategies for dealing with FoMO.