How To Live A FOMO-Free Life
I did a poll on my Instagram this week about FOMO and was surprised to see that 81% of the participants said they experience FOMO (aka “fear of missing out). While I knew the number would be high, I thought it would be closer to 50/50, so let’s take a deeper look at the issue and ways we can work to feel less FOMO in our lives.
Whether you have been stuck at work and had to miss a fun event or trip, weren’t invited to a gathering that has become the talk of seemingly all your friends, or have felt you needed to do or buy something to keep up or look good, FOMO is an anxiety and jealously inducing feeling that has been around forever (whether you struggle with it today or recall the pain from your youth).
While innately human, FOMO has become the hallmark of our digital age, and because engineers behind your favorite apps know what it takes to “keep your attention and keep you engaged,” we are constantly bombarded with ads that fuel our desire to keep up with the Jones’s – and gain status and validation through showing off the things that will make us look good, and generate “likes.”
Even though we are smart enough to realize this conceptually, the truth is we still have sensitive-emotional moments, and before we can recognize what’s happening in our minds, we are already lost in a negative thought…comparing our challenges to other people’s highlight reels, OR
fueling FOMO culture ourselves by posting our own “Living My Best Life” photos and memes.
While there is no inherent shame in having a photo album, and while social media does have it’s pro’s – allowing us to stay connected in ways that were previously unimaginable, there are plenty of ways to experience more of its benefits, while spending less of our valuable time and energy playing the comparison + outsider game.
To stay healthy and happy while navigating our digital world, check out these FOMO-crushing suggestions:
•Remember that people post what they want others to see and it’s rarely ever the full story.
•Accept that no matter what, you are in the right place, for you, right now. Be grateful!
•Remind yourself that one “missed” experience won’t have much, if any, impact on your life, and there will always be more fun/meaningful opportunities in the future.
•Assess if your FOMO is caused by deeper issues, and seek help to work on them.
•Develop + practice a mindfulness routine (like meditation).
•Track and limit/eliminate your social media usage and exposure with apps like Moment/Screentime and use filters to see content from people that uplift and make you feel better (unfollowing any people or brands that make you feel worse)
•Ask yourself “If my favorite social media apps went down or disappeared, what would I spend my time on to feel good?” then go and do just that.
If you incorporate even just a few of these suggestions, you’ll experience less ‘fear of missing out’ and more ‘Focus On Moving On’ – accepting the beauty that is right now, all around you.
Wishing you a week free of FOMO and full of joy!
I recently had the chance to sit down and interview my friend Marc Weinstein, former logistical advisors for the single most FOMO-inducing event of 2017: FYRE Festival. To better understand the power that social media-induced FOMO can have, hear about his experience watching the festival fall apart, and the habits he uses to lead a healthier life on social media, check out Episode 231 of People Being Real!