anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.“I realized I was a lifelong sufferer of FOMO”
Even before social media, I’ve had this problem. Always wondering if my best friends were leaving me out of some fantastic event, if they liked someone else better, or if I was some kind of social pariah.
I’m not sure where this insecurity began, but I’m trying to stop it now as a 30 something year old woman. You’d think it would be easy, but as the definition states, social media just exacerbates the problem. Like Mindy Kaling, I’m often wondering “Is everyone hanging out without me?” It started in high school as, “Did I get invited to that party?” It continued in college as, “Who else traveled abroad without me?” Then in my late twenties it was, “Everyone can have a baby except me!?!” And now it’s cycled back to, “Why wasn’t I invited?”
It’s the weirdest phenomenon because I love staying home or exploring the city as a trio. My best friend is honestly my husband (he knows my crazy like no one else). But, when I see or hear of friends doing something without me, it sends me into a spiral of overthinking and analyzing every thing that could have gone wrong in our friendship. (Told you I was crazy)
I’ve noticed that it really does give me anxiety, make me irritable and distracted. And I’ve decided, it’s just not worth it. I know which of my friendships are lasting. I know what I have is more than plenty. The FOMO is seriously blinding me and keeping me from enjoying the life in front of me. This realization came after I stumbled across an Instagram account of a mom/designer/blogger who had recently passed away leaving two very young children and a loving husband behind. It made me think that this picture perfect family (that I’d probably envy if I knew of her account earlier) was so impermanent. It made me realize that my own life with those dear to me is so precious that I need to be more grateful of it each and every day! So instead of wondering, “What are they doing now?” I’m going to try and think, “Looks like they’re having fun, so am I!” How Zen.