Are you one of those people that aren't satisfied with the number of your Facebook friends, even if you have more than the average number of 190 as I mentioned in this article earlier in the week.
Are you always checking your Facebook page to see what your friends are doing?
Do you get the feeling you are missing out on something big when you choose to stay home rather than get all dolled up for a night out on the town?
If so, you might be suffering from FOMO, for fear of missing out. This isn't a new phenomenon: Marshall quoted Caterina Fake's blog post from March in an article he wrote earlier this summer. But as we move into the end of year holidays, it can be a bigger issue.
"If you're honest, the things you miss out on don't always sound as amazing as other people say they are," says Sophia Dembling writing on Psychology Today's blog. She goes on to talk about how social media, like many things, is both the creator and the cure for FOMO.
Perhaps some of it is just envy. Just as in middle school, we want to be among the popular group, the trendsetters. This reminds me of the Morrissey video, We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful. (A modern musical version, perhaps, of this maxim by François VI, Duc de La Rochefoucauld: "In the misfortunes of our friends, we take no small pleasure.")
In our article asking about how often you are on Facebook, the number of people who check their Facebook pages hourly surprised me, meaning that it was too low an estimate.
In my experience, it is almost continuous monitoring for the 20-somethings that I know. It is now de rigueur to place your phones on the table when you go out to eat, so they can be available at a moment's notice. This indicates to me that someone would rather not be present, no matter where they are.
Back in the olden times when we didn't have cell phones, restaurants brought landline phones over to your table when you were expecting an important call. Only movie moguls did this, however.
So here are some suggestions. Close the laptop. Set your phone on vibrate. Go read a book and enjoy the solitude. Or go someplace new with a friend, and just focus on each other. Watch a movie and really focus on what is going on with it. Live in the moment and enjoy what you are doing. Even for just a few minutes each day.
Call it a FOMO break.
FOMO logo c/o KentDesign