FOMO: FEAR OF MISSING OUT
There is now a very real mental health risk associated with our fear of missing out. The rise of social media, booming technology and our constant ‘connectedness’, is contributing to rises in anxiety, depression, self-doubt, compromised confidence and changes in our social behaviours and communication.
I switched off & learnt to shut down the FOMO!
I am not immune to this new phenomenon, using daily social media to stay connected with friends, family and business. It’s actually BECAUSE of SOCIAL MEDIA, I can have friends all over the country & my business can flourish.
Social Media is not evil or the enemy, it just needs to NOT be used at the expense of true “real life” connections. Have you ever looked at your screentime on your device?
You might want to take a little look! You might be surprised at how much of your day, week, month is actually used on your device!! I WAS!!!! And some (well lets face it!) a lot of time, was at the expense of time with my family & my mental health!
I found myself:
✘ committing to things I didn’t want to do
✘spending money I didn’t have
✘surrounding myself with people I really didn’t want to be with
✘using social media to escape feelings or kids
✘wasting countless hours scrolling through a news feed I really couldn’t tell you what was on it!!
BECAUSE MY FEAR I MIGHT MISS OUT ON SOMETHING WAS RULING MY LIFE!
A CHALLENGE WAS SET 47.5 HOURS WITHOUT SOCIAL MEDIA
I was to go from 8pm Friday Night till 7.30pm Sunday night, with no social media! Why the odd hours? Why not a full 48 hours?
I had a facebook live training scheduled for 7.30pm on the Sunday Night and I didn’t want to miss out!!!!!!!!!
Can you see it? Yes, I set a challenge to prove that FOMO didn’t rule my life and without realising (until now) the parameter was set around my fear of missing out!!!
Now this challenge was not easy, don’t get me wrong! I found my finger hovering over the facebook button a number of times. Once or twice, I even hit the button, however I closed it before it had a chance to load.
Another, time I was chatting to hubby, when I looked down and facebook had loaded. I had no recollection of tapping the App. However, there it was sitting open and I HAD NO IDEA HOW. Again I closed it without looking at anything.
Or the time I sat thinking “if I jump on hubby’s phone and facebook no-one will know I broke my challenge” (It was only a thought – I didn’t look!).
What have I achieved? A realisation about how much I rely on that little app, to fill time, distract my mind and feel connected to my world! How I had lost the ability to connect with myself and my world around me, to be ok with being with me!
And GUESS WHAT? It’s 12pm on Monday Morning and I am yet to actually open facebook – YES I missed my live training – I’ll watch the replay! I’ve survived 64+ hours without social media and I haven’t missed out, the world has not ended, the walls didn’t fall in!!!!!!!
So what did I learn?
“Nature is good for the soul”
Saturday morning was spent bush walking with my husband. Watching him take photos of the waterfall & nature, enjoying his company, conversation & photography passion. There was something about being still and taking time out, that allowed me space to learn to be okay with being quite & with myself!
This time out provided invaluable lessons:
“There is clarity in the calm”
“Sometimes we surround ourselves with ‘busy’, because we don’t want to be with ourselves”
“Connecting with those we love, can help us remember how to love ourselves”
“Being with yourself is hard, but very necessary. It brings understanding, strength & guidance”
“We need to listen to both what people say & don’t say – there is a beautiful space in between the words – where peace can be found”
“Being truly present takes time & practice – without guilt!”
“We cannot simply do all the stuff – all the time and this is OK”
“Life happens everyday, every moment NOT TO US – we need to live it”
“Each new breath is a new beginning – you can start again & again multiple times daily”
“There is a beautiful strength in vulnerability & accepting what is, letting go of what was & having faith it what’s to come”
What’s this challenge changed? I have made a promise to myself, to alter the way I use social media. To remember to switch off regularly and be gentle with myself! Because I am human, a work in progress. Sometimes I’ll get it wrong, THAT’s OK!!! I may just need to remind myself, of all the benefits I tell others about self care & mindfulness.
WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY TO SWITCH OFF & GET CONNECTED WITH THE WORLD AROUND YOU?