The Fear of Missing Out

We live in a world where we are constantly connected to everything. We have the ability to find out what are friends are doing half-way across the world in just seconds. In fact, seconds is even a little too slow for us.

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We’re so connected. But that connection is also cultivating something darker in us, the fear of missing out. Every day, we scroll through our Instagram feed.

Constantly, we are learning about what our friends are doing across town, or on the other side of the world. Our phones are practically gorilla-glued to our hands. And for those brief seconds where we misplace our phones, we feel lost. And something akin to a panic attack starts to set in.

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You’ve just lost your way of connecting with the world. How are you supposed to contact your friends and family? What if you get into an emergency situation and you get kidnapped?

Will you have a way to contact someone? Are there phonebooths anymore? You’re totally disconnected with the world now! But are you really?

What you actually fear most is the fear of missing out. How will you know when someone accomplishes something great? What about when your cousin graduates?

You won’t get to see the pictures they post on Facebook or watch their Snapchats. But does that really matter? Have you really been living?

You’ve become consumed with this fear, the fear of missing out on something great. Think about how much time you’ve actually spent on your social media. When you look at the time, it’s almost impossible!

When did you have the time to spend 12 hours browsing Instagram? Surely, you didn’t close that app from the background. Yep, that has to be it.

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But, you actually spent the time on Snapchat while you were having lunch with your friends. You spent time on Instagram during lecture when you stopped understanding the professor.

You were so busy trying to catch your amazing experience through the lens of a camera that you actually forgot to live it. So, why do you have the fear of missing out? You’ve been missing out on experiences all this time anyway.

You were so busy taking pictures of the wedding that you didn’t actually get to dance. Your phone was in your hand the whole time and then you had to stay steady to get a good video for your followers.

Yes, I know you want to share your experiences. But what happens when you yourself miss out on these experiences yourself because you’re so preoccupied with sharing with the world. Trying to show the world that you are having a good time, but are you?

Stop living in digital reality. Take the time to actually live your life instead of living it through the lens of your phone. There is no need to fear missing out on things.

You can always talk to your friends in person or call them to find out what’s happening in life. Pictures can be sent via text or mail if you want physical pictures. You stalking people on social media is only giving you social media envy and depression.

What you see on Instagram is not always real. You should know that from experience. You’ve posted pictures and videos of an event that looked great.

But in reality, you were bored out of your mind. The event was completely unorganized and no one was in the mood to be nice to each other that day. The pictures looked good though.

You’re not the only one who fakes it for the gram. So stop believing all these imposters out there. A real friend will inform you when something big happens in their life. In fact, you might get invited to the actual physical event.

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Smell the coffee. Your phone will be there after lunch, your friends might not. Start a conversation.

Going without being glued to your phone may feel weird at first. But soon you’ll gain a new appreciation for life. You’ll also gain a lot of time back.

The most productive and efficient people in the world barely spend time on social media. I don’t think they’re missing out on anything. If anything, they are probably living a more fulfilled life than most of us.

Stop fearing that you will regret opportunities for virtual social connections. Go out there and make real-life connections and real-life memories.

I’m not saying you have to completely get rid of social media, but some time away may do you well. You may actually get some time to focus on your goals, self-care, and the people you love. And you may just experience the joy of missing out.

Thanks for reading my rant,

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Shika Tamaklo is a pharmacy student attending Mercer University. She is a college lifestyle blogger who writes on fitness, health, student life struggles and, occasionally dabbles in creative writing.

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