FOMO: the effects of social anxiety in the social media age.

When I was in my twenties I had huge FOMO (the fear of missing out). I felt left out at times, missing the “cool” events and not having the right connections. This only heightened when I became a mother, I felt like my world went in another direction than everyone else. My mind, body and soul was no longer the same, and my depression grew as social media took over our lives. I remember how Facebook began my fear of missing out on love, as everyone I knew was getting engaged and married, or the photoshop craze that took over Instagram made me hate my life and especially my body. Years later the veils of social media were revealed, and we realized how fake everything was. How sometimes smiles hid sadness, and people rather be seen as rich and successful than show their struggles. I knew there had to be more to life than comparing my life to others, so I began to work on my traumas and healing so that my life was my main focus. The results have been amazing. I’ll share a few tips that helped me overcome this common FOMO.

The first thing I started, after beginning therapy was a keeping mood journal. Did you ever have a diary as a kid? Do you remember how freeing it felt when those letters touched the page, and it was as if you left your burdens in that book ? Well a mood journal is that for adults, I started documenting my emotions daily and noticed an immediate relief. So many people feel overwhelming feelings and thoughts on a daily, with the stresses of adulthood and life. What I used to use as a coping mechanism was a drink, a drug, nothing seemed to heal those wounds. Once I started therapy those methods of self medicating couldn’t help me anymore. My mood journal showed me how much I’ve grown since I began, and it’s helped me work on myself much more. Another way to help reduce social anxieties, is to take breaks from your social media platforms. Log off, delete apps, or even put a timer to limit your online time. I do this from time to time, as a way to remind myself of who I was before social media. Instagram actually has a setting now where you can have a timer that reminds you of screen time. Believe it or not the Internet used to be an escape of real life, now real life is the escape.

The thing about social media is once people realized how fake it was, it made it easier to accept that everyone has their flaws and insecurities. I don’t pay attention to negative comments, they’re just reflections of how people feel about themselves. People use filters to appear more attractive, people get surgery to have curvier bodies for more likes. You see relationships that seem perfect and call it “goals”, without knowing that when the cameras off the story of very different usually. You see the people traveling and “living their best life” when you know they’re hurting inside. It’s all a mirage. So this made me brave enough to share my stories and use my platforms as a healing to for me and those around me. I struggled with eating and mental disorders for so long, and have fought so hard to become who I am today to let social media defeat me. I am more than likes, or views, or followers. I am more than my looks, this is not a competition, we can all win. I remember when I started my blog I saw all these blogs out there, mostly younger artsy people. I realized I couldn’t attend all those events because I had children and a family to take care of. Everyone has their carefree times, where time is a luxury. I had to grow out of the ‘Keeping up with the Joneses’ way of thinking and became more grateful for everything I had. I started developing my own style, living authentically; by stepping out of my comfort zone and believing in myself I attracted the best people and was invited to the coolest events I’ve ever been to. I stopped comparing myself to people I didn’t know, and became happier than ever. I’ve done so much in my life, accomplished so much, traveled so much, danced and laughed so much. Life changes like seasons, You evolve, things lose their meaning. Ask yourself what did you do before social media was your focus? What brings you joy? Join that club or fitness class you’ve been wanting to, or read a new book. If you don’t know what you like anymore, put your phone down, write it down and start doing that more. Make time for yourself that doesn’t involve recording or taking pictures of yourself. Those are the memories you won’t forget.

NYC based Blogger and Podcast Host, Advocate for Empowement and Mental Health Awareness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *