The fear of missing out or ‘FOMO’ is something that I’ve found hard to let go. What are other people doing? Who are they doing it with? How come nobody told me?
When I was younger, I’d become a hermit and convince myself that I was happier to be in my room watching TV, than pushing myself out of the door and onto something exciting. The trouble is, I’ve realised that became a habit and now I feel like I’m stuck.
At first, I’d be upset that other people are going out and going on awesome adventures, while I was pottering around and seemingly achieving nothing. Then I thought, that’s the point. I don’t need to be rushing around and doing Instagram-worthy hikes every weekend (as long as I know I have a camping trip coming up).
Of course, these are things that can and should be done regularly, but it’s ok to take some time for yourself and spend it with your family.
Social media has a huge part to blame in the FOMO culture. Everybody is sharing their latest adventure and showing how they have incredible amounts of free time and disposable income (just wait until parenthood). It’s really easy to get swept up in spiralling jealousy and being wracked with envy.
Recently I watched as a good friend of mine went kayaking on one of the local lakes, slept in a tent in the woods, and spent some quality time in nature. Of course, that sounds incredible, especially as I flick through her Instagram feed on the bus to work. I know she works just as hard, if not even harder than I do so why doesn’t she deserve some time off?
The real question is, why am I bothered about it? To be honest, I don’t know. I suppose it’s a natural thing to want what other people want. It’s just another reason to turn off my social media and look at what I have. It’s also a great little vacation idea planner. Pick through what other people are doing, where they’re going and decide on where your next getaway will be.
The fun thing is, when it is our time to leave the house and do something nice, you just forget about everything else.
I suppose the lesson I’ve come to learn is that concerning myself with the filtered view of other people’s lives via social isn’t a true representation of what’s happening. Everyone takes their turns at heading outside and spending time doing what makes them happy.
Where are you going next? (and can I come?)