Our modern generation is in the grasp of a very sinister problem: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
In an attempt to feel validated and feel like our lives are comparable to the masses of media information, we feel the urge to accumulate more experiences, more friends on our friends list and more events to post on our Insta-feed.
It is cliché, but it’s almost obvious that the only experiences shared on social media are those which look most appealing – an ultimate recipe for feelings of exclusion and loneliness.
Social media can ruin our lives in the same way that the media can distort the expectations that we have for ourselves. Media platforms have often been linked to excessive over use and addiction.
Although social media does get a bad press - this article included - the positives must still be acknowledged when understanding how we can manage it most effectively, especially with the mental health of the younger generation at stake. one website on the pros and cons of social media explains how: Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat can all serve as viable methods of communication with our loved ones, promoting healthy self-expression and providing a platform for vocalising our thoughts.
However, excessive media overstimulation can serve as a distraction from our lives, such as essential daily tasks, a distraction from our personal issues or hindering our development of real interpersonal skills.
Greg Mckeown, author of Essentialism: the Disciplined Pursuit of Less, offers us the idea of ‘pursuing less but better’.
This means narrowing down our focus only to the people, work or activities which add the most value to our lives.
This is very contradictory to the need to accumulate more and more friends, experiences, and to fill our day to the maximum, but often, that leads to feelings of FOMO and overwhelm.
We may feel as though more is better but what if simplification of our lives is what we really need?
Social media offers us the chance to share and connect but perhaps we also need time to disconnect, to limit our attention only to those things which we value most.