FOMO, an acronym used so commonly these days. The “fear of missing out” has escalated to higher levels in our lives due to the increased use of media and technology. The ability to document my location and every event I am attending is a blessing and a curse. I enjoy sharing my whereabouts with my friends and family, and also saving these memories to look back on. On the other hand, seeing friends doing wonderful things without me isn’t my favorite activity! I am a huge culprit of feeling as though everyone else is having fun while I’m not present. Deep down I know these thoughts are ridiculous, but I continue looking at photos and watching videos with a pit in my stomach anyway.
The world of social media has grown immensely since the invention of Facebook. Now, I have to use both of my hands to count the number of sites I am on daily. It has become a habit, I don’t even have to think and automatically pull each of these up on my phone. I find myself having to take breaks during my day to “catch up” on the different photos or posts. An application called Snap Chat is the largest source of my FOMO. You are able to post “stories” to your account which only remain for 24 hours. These can be videos or pictures and the app supplies filters that can even change according to your location. After a couple hours away from my phone, these stories have accumulated and I feel the need to watch each of them. This is mostly a waste of time and I know that, but continue doing it almost everyday.
I do think that there is a happy medium when it comes to the digital world. Many positives come out of being connected and therefore, it isn’t necessary to quit altogether. An issue begins when checking your e-mail, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook forces you into not living in the moment. Sometimes I witness others trying so hard to document the moment, that they are missing out on everything around them. A classic example of this is when you’re attending a concert and everyone has their phone out recording the performance. I understand wanting to experience a concert again through videos, but I wonder if these people are even experiencing it fully the first time. The need to post everything online keeps growing stronger with the advances in technology and media. I don’t think this is limited to an age group either. My grandmother is 89 and an avid Facebook user, so we can’t make generalizations about a type of person using media the most. The balance between documenting our lives and actually living them is necessary. No one should experience constant FOMO but instead, focus on being present in the moment!