i‑Learner Education Centre

Steps to Success » Emotional Wellbeing

Social Media and the Fear of Missing Out

Social media has become an integral part of our daily lives. Platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter allow us to connect, share and stay updated with the latest trends and events. However, there is a phenomenon called Fear of Missing Out, or FoMO, which can affect our well-being. It can also add to the peer-pressure younger people feel to act a certain way, which distracts them from reaching their potential.

FoMO is the feeling of anxiety or worry that we’re missing out on something exciting or fun that others are doing. It can occur when we see our friends posting about parties, vacations or other fun activities on social media. It causes us to feel left out and inadequate, and it can make us feel bad when studying, practising musical instruments, or doing other tasks that are important but unglamorous.

One of the reasons FoMO is so prevalent on social media is that we tend to share the highlights of our lives whilst filtering out the mundane or less exciting moments. This creates a false perception that everyone is constantly having a fantastic time. It’s best to keep in mind that what we see on social media doesn’t always reflect reality. People often present an idealised version of their lives that focus only on the positive aspects while omitting the challenges and struggles.

Consequently, we should be mindful when using social media. Limit your screen time and make an effort to disconnect from social media regularly. This will allow you to make time for other activities, such as hobbies, sports and spending time with family and friends. You’ll be more focused on the present and less worried about what others are doing.

Finally, it is essential to view social media as a tool to connect with others and for self-expression, rather than a source of constant comparison and anxiety. By finding a healthy balance between our online and offline lives, we can ensure that social media usage doesn’t overshadow real-life experiences or warp out priorities.