---- Missing out on life because of social media?
How much of real life are we trading to participate in the digital world?
I have an addiction. I suffer from FOMO [Fear of Missing Out]. Odds are you suffer from it to a degree. FOMO is the feeling that other people might be having a good time without you, or worst, living a better life than you. FOMO is why social media participation is so high. FOMO is why you perpetually refresh your social media feeds -- so you don't feel left out, so that you can compare your life. FOMO is what makes social media the dopamine machine that it is.
FOMO has become a big issue. More and more people choose to scroll mindlessly regardless of whether they're on public transit, having dinner in a restaurant, or at a sports event.
Your future soulmate could be sitting a few seats over on the bus, at the diner counter or in the doctor's waiting room. However, you're checking your social media to see if Bob's vacationing in Aruba or if Farid got the new job. Likely, your potential soulmate is doing the same.
Look around. Everyone is looking down at the screen in their hand, not up at each other.
Most of what people post is cherry-picked to elicit self-affirming responses -- likes, thumbs-up and emojis. The Internet's social media function boils down to "Look at me!"
I wonder if bragging and showing off were ever banned on social media, how much would posts decrease?
Social media has made us a restless, anxious bunch, under-appreciating the present moment. With lockdown restrictions lifting, people will be on their smartphones more than before to see what others are doing. Loneliness, questioning self-worth, depression can result.
Instead of catching up with an old friend over lunch or a walk, people prefer to text each other. Instead of trying to reconnect with old friends verbally, people sit at home with their devices and learn what their friends are up to -- a start towards anti-social behaviour.
Social media's irony is it has made us much less social. We're too preoccupied with feeding our FOMO addiction to notice each other.
Social media will always nudge for attention, but that doesn't mean you have to oblige. How about enjoying life's real moments?