“Picture or it didn’t happen” is a phrase that sneaked its way into my subconscious without me ever really uttering it. It’s not just something that you tell your good friend after she’s been meeting a hot new guy – it’s a lifestyle. Over the past couple of years my everlasting FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), the need to be online constantly, and my tendency towards narcissism, have somehow turned me into a social media obsessed robot. And I have to admit, I’m not a fan of what it’s doing to me.
Recently I met up with an old friend of mine and, naturally, started to tell her about the latest happenings in my life and what I’m up to these days. “I know”, she replied, “I’m following you on Instagram”. Until this moment I never really realized how much I actually am showing online and how dependent I have become on the recognition from strangers. When I talk to friends of mine, they tell me about dates they’ve had, events they’ve attended, and things they’ve bought. They depict me their latest wanderings to foreign cities and unexplored terrains of our hometown, with no picture proof whatsoever.
I, on the other hand, have to take a picture of every damn thing I do/see/buy/eat. And it makes me wonder. Why am I like this? And when have I become so obsessed with the virtual representation of myself that I stopped living in the moment. Last week, when a friend asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner with her, I mentally decided to only say yes if the restaurant she chooses fits my Instagram feed. How screwed up is this?
How do you deal with FOMO once you realize you actually have a problem?
I am aware of my problems with FOMO and the need to be online constantly. Yet, I feel like I am not ready to give it up completely. Rather, I want to try to switch off my phone from time to time and go on adventures without taking pictures for my Instagram feed. I want to live in the moment and experience life without having to show off on social media on the regular.
I personally do not think that collecting moments and beautiful locations on pictures is a problem per se. What I do think is a problem, however, is when you mentally decide only to attend events that are Instagram-worthy. Hell, I sometimes even think about how I’ll get my imaginary boyfriend to propose to me in a picturesque way so I can share the whole thing on my feeds. Well…
Sharing your favourite moments in life with your friends and followers is an amazing thing. And the Internet has made me a better person in so many ways. I’ll forever be grateful for all the opportunities and great friends that entered my life through the blog and my being on social media. Still, I realize that I need to step back and start creating boundaries for what can see the light of Instagram and what stays private.
What do you think about FOMO and the constant need to share your life online? Any ideas on how to deal with it? Would love to read about your experiences in the comments below.