Few days back, I got this below forward message in whats app and it got me in to thinking. Actually it got me in to a deep self introspection.
"Do you know FOMO? Psychologists coined this term recently... It is the feeling that some one else is having more fun or doing something better than you.This fear is often aroused by seeing exciting posts on social media of what other people do!"
FOMO - Fear Of Missing Out
Every word in the above forward message stands true. It stood so true for me that I had to deactivate my Facebook account. In the crowded social network with millions of updates per day, I am sure no one would have noticed that I was missing from there. Other than a couple of friends who actually would have noticed due to missing tagged pics or some posts rest all stayed oblivious to the fact that I was Poof from face book. Even my blog gets unnoticed with out FB. No FB means no readers , well almost no readers in my case. That is the only aspect of my social networking which I deeply miss but as I am blogging at a tortoise's speed, it doesn't matter much for now. But I must say, after I deactivated my FB , a good 40% of my brain got empty and I enjoyed the emptiness. It is up to me whether or not I use it to fill with knowledge, books, news, music, talks, or simply nothing.
The term "FOMO- Fear of Missing Out" exists from quite some time but these days it is mostly triggered by social N/W. I am not saying I have a chronic FOMO but my condition did get severe at some juncture. I forwarded the above message in a whats app group where I have a close knit group of 4-5 girls, and we joked around how we have FOMO syndrome when we compare each others' lives :) Every one who received that message gave a positive affirmation that they are suffering from it. It didn't make me feel better because "COBH - The comfort of being in the herd " is neither soothing nor can work as an antidote to FOMO. Before talking on how FOMO can actually impact and what we can do to subside it, I want to talk on the factors which may lead to FOMO!
FB can actually be considered as the 8th continent of the world. Seven is a magical number, but when something like facebook intervenes our lives with an intrinsic energy and power , and changes the math, it sure may lead to imbalance. It is an integral part of our lives. There are many things to do there, like Check ins, check outs, opinions, counter opinions, verbal fights , verbal abuses, pages and posts to like, and now posts get the privilege of getting subjected to other emotions like anger , happy , surprise , being thankful etc. We have walls to be climbed and browsed , walls to slide down in a sea of posts which are not appealing to you and walls to stalk, walls to block, walls to hide, walls to unhide, so on so forth. Facebook gives so many options to customise your features and increase or reduce the buzz around you. It is definitely nostalgic when old photographs, memories and age old opinions posted are reminded, which makes one feel how their opinions, thought process and appearance have evolved for good or for bad!
|image source : here|
I deactivated facebook for a month and I must say I felt calm. With less buzz around me I felt relaxed. I could read more, be creative, did my work-out more efficiently. A person should be strong enough to not get bogged down by the rest of the world and its happenings but it is OK to not be so strong at times. It is not always possible to carry yourself and feel alright every minute. Before the advent of twitter, FB and all kinds of social web pages we were less exposed to others' lives. It was easy to just live and let live as the updates were minimal and conversations were not perennial. But now FB is the only place where people want to discuss most of the happening moments, add life events , dump hatred or love, do any thing and everything. I am not saying social sites should be banned and I am not saying some one should take the ownership to streamline the process. I am just saying it is tough to not get effected. In my case, I am facing a difficulty in conceiving and I already have a hard time explaining to neighbors and people in office or any one who asks me whether or not I started planning in an exclamatory tone! I am at loss of words, when people ask questions so easily but questions are guaranteed in life, answers are not. During such moments, when you see hordes of baby pictures on FB with various captions, discussions and mothers and fathers discussing their parenthood at length, you do feel slightly unhappy. It is not easy to dance in joy or party at every one's success. People who take the minimalistic approach are the best but there are many whose emotions and expressions never get stalled. You first congratulate, then you take part in one or two conversations and later you forget but when mountains of updates surround you, it gets tough to forget. It gets confusing as to how much is too much ? How much desperate you are for something gets directly proportional to how much others are achieving it :) It is like Murphy's law!
Recently I activated FB and below is my status update which got many responses from people who are sailing in the same boat. Some responses are shared here!
PS: Identities are purposely hidden
Some of the replies to the above status update were like below.
When I activated my facebook account , many said they were glad to see me back and that they were missing my updates . It did feel wonderful to hear that .I don't have any animosity on FB. It is a great medium for people like me who write. It gave me some wonderful friends whom I can never forget but but but ... the big problem which all FB users face is FOMO! It does attack you once in a while, when you are putting all your efforts for something and longing for the same and not getting it. A psychiatrist may articulate your thoughts but self help does work wonders. In my case deactivation helped a lot. I am back after a break but would deactivate again when I feel like! I realised that distance makes you miss or like or enjoy something. Same happened with me and facebook :) I do have FOMO now and then but I redirect to JOMO- Joy Of Missing Out like in the below oatmeal cartoon and make myself happy by reading a book, watching some thing I love, surprising the people I love, exercising or any thing and everything which erases FOMO! Have a good day!
|source : here|
|source : here|