The Fear of Missing Out!

“Did you see the photos on Facebook?” A friend asked me recently.

I hadn’t.

“Looks like a fun event. I so so-and-so’s photos and she told me it was so much fun…I missed out.”

“But we had a fun weekend too…I didn’t miss not going to the party.” I replied. My friend and I had been invited to the above-mentioned party too. But we had both been out of town – with our families – visiting common friends.

“I did. But I wish we hadn’t missed the party.”

I hid a smile. My friend was like that.

When she saw social media posts of friends at events she wasn’t present, she felt left out.

Even though she may have enjoyed doing something else, the minute she saw the social media posts, she feels her life pales in comparison to others’.

There are so many people like her….people who feel they could have had greater fun if only they had been at an event where everyone else was.

But the truth of the matter is that social media is a stage. And all of us are actors on it.

And so we act….we show others how much fun our lives are, how very much in love we are, how very much loved we are by our friends and family. We also show how smart we are by posting promotions and degrees of not just ourselves but also our loved ones. WE write love poems and long eulogies of people that have been dead for decades. We show off.

But the reality in most cases is so very different. 

I also know so many women who say “let’s take a photo for Facebook.” [Sorry ladies, but I haven’t heard any man say this yet.] The photos are taken with the explicit purpose of generating envy in others…making others feel how much they are missing out.

Social media has brought so much goodness to our world. But IMHO, it is also the reason for more mental health issues.

I used to be a very active social media user….posting photos and news and sharing thoughts and what have you. But it was done to update people on things happening in my professional life. Then the personal stuff started creeping in. And that’s when I realized I had to put an end to it.

And then I began the journey to getting to know myself a bit better. Soon I found I had little time and pretty much no interest in knowing what the rest of the world was up to.

If you are someone who feels the fear of missing out….perhaps it’s time to take the bull by the horns.

Perhaps it’s time to save your sanity by getting off social media platforms!

~Nipa Shah

Social Media creates an illusion that the world is happier than we are!