FOMO: the good and bad behind experiencing it

*Items in this post have been gifted but all views and opinions are my own*

Fittingly this post falls a day after what seemed to be the whole world losing their minds over Instagram being down- though in saying that what I seemed to notice was actually a lot of people seeking solace in being disconnected for a while. Not actually feeling the pressure to be online or present in the digital world not only because we physically couldn’t connect (though Twitter was still very much there) but also because I felt like people were waking up to realising ‘wait there is actually life outside of online?? Who’d have thought’ 
I caught tweets from people admitting that instead of scrolling endlessly down their feed they instead chose a book to get lost in, or did some writing or perhaps even went out on a Wednesday night, though by my standards I mean that's pushing it a bit- I wouldn’t, but yeah good for you. 

Like those many others, I too felt the same. I put my phone down for a bit and decided to indulge in some conversation- which jay would argue isn’t really anything new- I love to talk his ear off before bed but I did decide to get a slightly earlier night (I say slightly because I am a notorious night owl that ain’t ever gonna change, honey.)

Anyway, I say this post fittingly slots in with last nights events simply because for this post I wanted to talk about FOMO.

 If like my Mum you’re saying to yourself what does that mean let Urban Dictionary supply the description for you:

'FOMO is a state of mental or emotional strain caused by the fear of missing out. A form of social anxiety - a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.'

 Which really makes me hazard the question why do we allow things to make us feel like that? It’s incredibly toxic and it’s so inducingly draining. But as a simple matter of fact, we do fear missing out, and we do it a lot.

I started watching Game of Thrones just last week for the first time ever (I know I’m shockingly late to the party) with the return of the last and final season in April I want to be included among the buzz and the anticipation of it all (sad as that sounds) I have been among previous seasons feeling FOMO simply because I felt too behind to catch and partly because I wasn’t sure if it was really ‘my thing’ (how wrong I was) but now given the chance to binge the season over the next few months and be blessed with Kit Harringtons face on my screen for the duration, I have simply jumped at the opportunity. Which has, in turn, worked out for the best, if anything the fear of missing out has pushed me to watch something I may have not previously thought about.

If you think about it that's actually how you become to learn about a lot of TV programmes or films. I read pretty recently that BirdBox had no advertising and was simply watched for the reason that people spoke so much about it and in turn told their friends and the buzz that just grew around it made you want to watch it to find out what it was all about. I even watched that to ensure I too had been a part of it (not to say I watch everything on Netflix for that reason) *other streaming services available* but a lot of the time we watch them to be a part of something, to be a part of the noise. But I’d be lying if I said that same fear for missing out didn’t have the opposite effect on me from time to time. 

Who am I kidding just lately that feeling has been pretty strong.

 A feeling the fellow twenty club that follow me will resonate with pretty strongly. I feel like time is slipping me by, every minute, every hour of every day. Days seem to be getting shorter and time getting faster, slipping between my fingers. I’m waking up and before I know it I’m climbing back into bed again. I'm worried I'll be thirty looking back on my twenties wondering where did all that time go, what did I do? Where is my highlight reel of every achievement I made?

Even the end of the year can feel incredibly daunting when one after another I watch the Instagram stories come flooding in of 'My year in highlights' each one more impressive than the one before. I  then start comparing myself to others and saying why didn't I do that? Why didn't I get that opportunity?

You are probably thinking to yourself but why do you do that? Why do you compare but we do, we just do in some way or another.

Listening to my favourite podcast at the moment 'We are Offline' (fun fact I've mentioned that podcast now 3 posts in a row) they spoke recently on an episode titled 'The truth behind being a woman online' and gave out the statistic that 87% of women compare themselves to others on social media, which is a staggering figure. 

It is incredibly depressing but FOMO and comparison are. It's something I covered a long time ago when I spoke about not feeling bad for giving ourselves a day off but as millennials or as anyone in this day and age hooked up to technology like a lifeline we are constantly comparing and asking ourselves on a Sunday morning how come they are out living their life, going places, seeing people, travelling and exploring all whilst I sit in bed watching another Serial Killer Documentary with my phone in hand. We are all guilty of it but why do we bully ourselves?

Why do we torture ourselves into thinking we are missing out? That if we went out today or to that party on Saturday night that it would have been the best thing you could've done in your entire life.

I think one of the main things to remember is that there was a reason for you not doing the thing in the first place, maybe it was raining? or maybe staying in with your cat watching Netflix seemed 1000x more appealing or maybe, just maybe you just didn't want to and that is okay.

Like many posts, I write just lately this is more piece of mind than anything. But also I hope I can give some advice or bring some reassurance on things I've changed to stop making myself feeling so guilty about things I feel like I've missed out on.

 One is that you shouldn't beat yourself up over the things that you're missing out on that you didn't want to do neither the things that as a result wouldn't have benefited you in any way. It's important to remember to do things only because YOU want to do them.
I listened in to a conversation on a train the other day- rude of me I know but I was standing about 2 centimetres away. A woman spoke to her- what I believe was her colleague about going to the gym after work. She said 'the faster I get in there get it done, the sooner I get out.' and I kind of wanted to shout then 'why the bloody hell would you go then? (I didn't of course)
The gym to me is a big pressure on social media I see people speaking about it all the time. Smashing their calorie burn or going further the distance and I think great- honestly, that is great. If you are working out because you enjoy it, keep doing it. I've mentioned previously that I too work out a lot now because I bloody enjoy it, I enjoy seeing results and I enjoy the endorphins it gives me. If I thought for any second that, that was making me unhappy I would stop.
It's all well and good if you have the time to work out and enjoy that time doing so, then do it but if you are making time, having to go out your way to do something because what, a 45 session in the gym might add to that toned stomach you've been longing for, for many years may actually surface this summer then you're going to be left feeling worse than before.
I'm not saying that because it's unrealistic because it's not but it's about doing things for the right reasons is all.

Another thing is remembering that we are all at different times in our lives, different places, different people. We all have our own journeys, our different routes and plans to be where it is we want to be. And if that hasn't happened for you yet, keep pushing. I'm telling myself that as much as I'm telling you because I find myself asking all the time why things still haven't happened for me yet, it sucks but I have to remember that we all have a time- I hope.

You may find, like myself, you follow a lot of people on your Instagram/facebook/twitter whatever it may be that are a lot older than you, or younger than you or live in a different city that gives better opportunity. For example, like me, I follow a lot of people in there late twenties, many of which are renting their own flats or are in a secure job, having babies and buying a dog. That's not saying that everyone in their late twenties does that because they don't. But I keep reminding myself not to compare myself to those who are so far apart from me and my goals.

I think we are finally reaching a point that we don't shy away from admitting that we have unfollowed or muted people because they don't allow us to feel positive in our social media space and that isn't because themselves are negative it's more because we admire them, or aspire to them in an unrealistic way. We compare ourselves to the point we'd quite like to be doing what it is they're doing or look the way they do and it is such a toxic way of thinking. It's okay to admit you've removed them for your own mental health.
I've muted a lot of people on LinkedIn just lately, something I would say even to their face because I feel at the moment as though everyone but me is doing well around me and I'm not. I feel exhausted and again it's not saying I'm not proud of others achievements or success but just that the more I look at successful people the more I beat myself up about it.

And one last thing, one that's so important to remember is that not everything you see is real especially on social media, even in real life. I think this is something that has been said a multitude of times but we all experience problems in our own lives, things we don't share or speak about and that is down to you whether you choose to share them but just remember there is a life behind everyone a journey and a process.

Jumpsuit: [Gifted] Traffic People
Coat: Asos
Bag: New Look 

What's your opinion?

@paige rhianne_