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FEATURES Oct 16 2013 6:36PM
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Conquering FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

by Shanika Hillocks

There’s a new phenomenon out there, attributed to social media called FOMO: Fear of Missing Out. We are bombarded by live status updates, foursquare check-ins and Instagram posts of the happenings and events that our friends are attending. This constant stimulus creates an obsession over all things social media to the point where we are checking Facebook before brushing our teeth, RSVP-ing to every event that floods our inbox, or even bumping into things as we walk down the street. Yes, we are living in a digital age, but this intense attention to all things on your smart devices might be having you miss out on the actual things going on in life. Here are a few strategies to help deal with this new epidemic:

Put It In Perspective: At the sight of a new post or update an immediate thought of “I want to be there,” or “I need to do that” may come to mind. But let’s come to the realization that a lot of our friend’s lives aren’t as glamorous you may think and thanks to social media, we can control and broadcast the most amazing life possible. Instead of feeling bad about what you’re NOT doing, use these instances as motivations and a time for evaluation. Want to be on that all-inclusive resort in the Bahamas? Maybe instead of buying a new outfit for every event you attend, you can put that money toward a vacation. Been dying to try that new restaurant that just opened up? Take a friend and enjoy one another’s time, rather than posting about.

Put It Away: The easiest way to avoid FOMO is putting the source of the constant updates away. Yes, we all want to photograph what we’re eating and post on Instagram (guilty), but interrupting an intimate dinner, catch-up time with friends or even worse, your workday shows that you aren’t fully present in the moment and causes you to actually miss out on the real happenings of life. Turn off notifications from your social media platforms and leave your phone in your bag when attending important events.

Count Your Blessings: One of the easiest ways I have avoided FOMO is by holding fast to what I am grateful for. Counting your blessings is an easy lesson that can be applied to your everyday and it helps discover the satisfaction in life’s little things. Posting about those things, instead of the big events all the time, displays your authenticity, the thing that people respond to best anyhow.

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