Social Media Induces Feelings of Missing Out …What?

In April, the New York Times wrote about the deadly FOMO aka Fear Of Missing Out that can be induced by social media. Basically people who see other people having fun and doing sh*t and posting about their sh*t on their social media profiles, well those people who witness that start to feel like they are missing out on something.

First off: Seriously guys?

Second: WTF?

Third: Get a life.

Fourth: … nevermind

This attention to FOMO is pathetic, even more pathetic that it’s linked to social media. Explain to me how this isn’t just another case of wanting what others have, sometimes called grass is greener on the other side? Even before the masses participated in social media, people were wanting the house, the job, the significant other, the baby, the family (shoes, hair, clothes, body, etc.) that their friends had. (Hence my exclamation, “seriously guys?”)

I guess my disappointment is in the world doing a bad job of repackaging an old concept and linking social media to it to make it “exciting.” The issue is with the people not the technology. (Hence, WTF.)

I feel like a local watching a tourist describe “the wild world of  the social Internet.” “Gee, you mean you still want what other people desire even though you’re on the Internet. OMG how novel!”


From my experience and the experience of a lot of early Internet users, the Internet was great at hooking up like-minded people (which can be great sometimes and horrible in the right circumstances). And quite frankly, when you remember what the purpose of creating the Internet was, to share information, the Internet is doing what it is supposed to do: allow you to share information.

Nerds, people with niche interests and so on, they got to find each other on the Internet. That’s an amazing thing when you feel ostracized because you like things that aren’t for some reason acceptable to the community around you.

And when you feel like you have connected with these people, who cares what they do without you? When they are there, you have someone to joke, commiserate and share with. If you are going, “but I wanna do what they are doing!” Then A) Why aren’t you? and B) What’s the purpose of your relationship with that person? Be happy for them, be happy that they are doing something fun. Employ your social skills and ask them to let you know when they are going out again or even ask them how they know about all the cool stuff they do.

This bring me to my last point, GET A LIFE.

I say that with little judgment.

Be involved with your life, because at the end of the day, if you have time to get depressed over what you aren’t doing then you’re doing it wrong. Yes, it’s understandable to be like “man I wish I was going to the concert/party/movie/etc. like so and so is,” that’s only natural. But depression? Are you living your life?

Me for example, I haven’t been out in ages. And yea I do wish I could go to concerts and travel like I see some of my friends do — eat extravagantly, but I also have an 1 hour commute that kicks my ass five days a week, studying so I can get better at my job trade and applying to jobs since I know that in order to get to that place where I can feel comfortable with traveling and going to concerts I need to be making a certain amount of money consistently. I have a life that needs to be tended.

This goes back to the idea of,”employ your social skills” and even, in this case,  you’re emotional intelligence skills. In a nutshell, what do you need to make happen in your life so that you aren’t looking at what others have and feeling unsatisfied?

Back on me again. Even in my downtime, when I am not being social, I make sure what I do really counts for me. (Which requires you to know yourself, oui?) If I go watch a crappy movie, dammit it’s going to be the most awesome crappy movie in the world.  If I’m going to stay in, I’m going to do the most pleasing thing for myself that makes me forget about what anyone else does. I may even be happy that me and someone else I know got to do really pleasing activities that made us both happy.

Instead of allowing your feelings to make you feel like you are missing out on something, take your feelings as a sign that your life needs some tending to.

So I guess you could be like everyone else and desire what everyone else has; or you can stop right now and try to be happy for everyone who is doing things that make you feel envious and then use your dissatisfaction to make your own life better.

This song’s lyrics don’t really match this writing/rant but the song is still fitting … is social media and everyone else getting the best of you? Video after the jump.


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