I have a terrible case of FOMO. My fear-of-missing-out is really taking a toll on me. I feel like I’m on the brink of crashing and yet knowing this hasn’t slowed me down. Last week I was out every night, my social calendar is packed and I haven’t worked out in months. I try, but then I see my friends on FB or Instagram discussing happy hour after work and my motivation to work out morphs into wanting to get a seat at the table as quickly as possible. Or worse, I experience paralyzing jealousy and depression if I don’t get the invite so I don’t go out OR work out. What is wrong with me?
-FOMO Has Me in a Frenzy
You have FOMO alright. As you know social media is a personal highlights reel. People post positive, fun, pretty things, but never the mundane realities of life. This social connection gives us access to friends and family, celebrities, influencers, icons, who are all putting their best foot forward. Reality Check: social media makes most things seem more exciting than they actually are.
The only one that can make you feel inadequate is yourself. What is wrong with you? You’ve already defined it. You fear missing out on social activities, get blinded by envy when you compare yourself on social media and feel highly unmotivated because of this. But what exactly are you missing out on?
Social functions will flood your feed and come knocking, but it’s up to you to accept or put on the brakes.
I think it’s safe to say you have a social net that is not going to forget about you if you take two nights off to go to the gym, or just unplug on the couch. Better yet, enlist the help of a workout buddy to get exercise in and socialize at the same time. Social functions will flood your feed and come knocking, but it’s up to you to accept or put on the brakes.
I know what you mean as I often feel the same way. I am a naturally on-the-go person and could easily work all day and hang out with friends each night. Particularly in my 20s, I struggled in finding a balance with work, exercise, friends, movies, video games, etc. As the reality of graduate school started to seep in, I found that I had to channel my energy in a more productive way. That energy has helped me finish my degree and be successful in my career.
There is going to be a choice for you too. Do you value your health and well-being more or do you value the social capital of being in and at every event? It sounds like you’re beginning to recognize the costs of this fear for you. The next step will be letting go of your fear.
Do you value your health and well-being more or do you value the social capital of being in and at every event?
I would start with questioning your thoughts when you feel the fear kick in. Will the world end if I don’t go? What’s the worst that could happen if I don’t go? Are there any advantages of not being there? These specific questions may or may not help, but you need to remind yourself that some aspects of your fear is unrealistic and unhelpful.