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Feeling some FOMO?

Social media has enhanced our lives in so many ways. It’s incredible that we can keep up with friends and family with a few scrolls on Facebook or Instagram, and “like” their daily adventures, and huge life milestones. But there can be some struggles caused by our constant look into the lives of others, and that’s FOMO. If you’ve never experienced FOMO, the best way for me to describe it is a mixture of disappointment, panic, betrayal, loneliness, and gloom. So, what is FOMO? FOMO is the Fear Of Missing Out. Seeing friends post about a barbecue that you weren’t invited to, seeing celebrities post about their luxurious vacations while you're in sweatpants on your couch, witnessing the “likes” climb into the hundreds on the accomplishments of your peers...that complex emotion your feeling is social media induced FOMO.

It is normal to feel a twinge of jealousy when you fear you are missing out, or you feel like your achievements aren’t as impressive as those of your classmates. It’s overwhelming when you feel the need to keep up with the things you see online, even we adults struggle with this. Social media is a version of real life, but it’s not complete reality either. It is just a perfectly captioned glimpse into some of the best moments of someone’s day, but it’s not the whole picture. We have to make a conscious effort to separate ourselves from the likes, from the pressure to make our lives look perfect every single minute online. Life isn’t perfect for us, and it’s not perfect for them.

So, how do we combat FOMO? Well, remind yourself that it is okay to celebrate others. Congratulating someone on a new job or academic win in NO WAY diminishes your successes, so don’t let your emotions stop you from being a good and supportive friend. It is also important to realize when your FOMO has started to negatively affect your mental health. It is okay to log off and set limits for yourself when it comes to your social media usage. Being present in your life and what’s happening in the real world around you is the BEST way to remind yourself that your life is pretty great too.

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