As you log onto social media on a Friday evening you might see a fun-filled timeline. Someone might have got engaged, a lot of people have probably uploaded pictures from pre-drinks, and you might have seen that your best mate got that big promotion they wanted earlier today. What did you do? It never seems to quite compare to everyone else’s day, does it?
I think we all have that innate fear of missing out or FOMO, but some of us feel it more strongly than others. It’s the idea that people are living life better than you, experiencing things you cannot, and seeing people you couldn’t possibly meet. Nearly three-quarters of young adults say they experience this sensation, and there’s no doubting that we’re the first generation to be so highly affected. Mainly this is due to the rise of social media, and the greater insight we get into everyone’s lives.
It’s certainly not fun. It causes a vicious cycle, where despite feeling as though you’re worse off you continue to check social media again and again as to not feel out the loop. You start to check it when you wake up, before you go to bed, whilst eating your meals, in the bathroom, basically any piece of free time that you have. The problem is that this then often leads you to miss out on various other experiences because of this constant need to keep on top of things.
71% admit to making excuses to get out of social events despite feeling as though they miss out, over a third experience stress and anxiety when they do go out, and 30% feel disappointed afterwards. This can then lead the individual to believe they’re not quite doing it right, that everyone else but them has it down to a tee. But it’s okay because that epic moment is just around the corner, you’re an idiot for staying home and you’re missing out, and the process starts again.