By Allison Jefferis (guest Chalker)
Do you ever catch yourself looking at a friend’s Instagram account and wishing that your life could be as picture perfect as theirs? Or do you find yourself trawling through Facebook wishing that you could go to all the parties, in all in the cities, with all the people whilst simultaneously relaxing on a beach with a cocktail taking photos of your legs that look suspiciously like hotdogs?
If so, you have “FOMO”.
The Oxford Dictionary defines FOMO as:
the anxiety that an exciting or interesting even may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.
I recently attended a seminar on turning the fear of missing out (FOMO) into the joy of missing out (JOMO). It was one of the sessions that you attend because you have a free hour, it is directly across the road from your work and it is cold outside, thinking “this is interesting, it doesn’t apply to me, but I will check it out” but boy, did it apply to me.
I check my Facebook and Instagram every night before I go to sleep and as soon as I wake up. Even as I do this, I think “Why? Why do I even care what my friend who lives thousands of kilometres away ate for dinner last night?”
I have a great, fulfilling life and I am sure a lot of people would be envious of me. But for some reason while I have purposely scheduled a night on the couch in my favourite PJ’s, I furiously scroll through Facebook every five minutes to see what everyone else is doing and if they are having more fun than me. This session helped me to realise that I need to embrace the comfort of the Friday night in and take joy in the fact that I am not going to be hungover tomorrow with blisters all over my feet and no voice from yelling over music that I don’t even like.
In this age of instant connection and the ability for constant communication is it time to enforce a mandatory time out? For me, the answer is yes.
HOW To turn your FOMO into JOMO in 4 easy steps
- Remove all the Facebook and Instagram notifications on your phone.
- Stop yourself from reaching for your phone when you wake up, just press stop on your alarm and ignore the pull of social media.
- Give your full attention to the people who are physically with you, enjoy their presence and the fun you have without having to brag about it to the world through beautifully filtered images and witty captions.
- Stop yourself from being jealous every time you see your friends having a wine night in your home town when you are living in another city. Be happy that they are getting the chance in catch up in the their busy lives and call them up and talk to them rather than wasting your time scrolling through Instagram feeds that you have already looked at.
It is time to be happy with your own company rather than bombarding yourself with images of the grass appearing to be that much greener on the other side of the social media fence.
Put down the phone and look around you. There is so much more to take in than a status update.
About the author
Allison is known for her ability to love food but also never being able to order off the menu, always needing to ask for one element to be served “on the side please”. Currently living in Canberra, her heart lies in God’s country AKA Queensland. She regularly finds herself laughing out loud at pod casts in inappropriate places and can be recognised by her slightly messy hair and her too loud inside voice.
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