You know that feeling in your gut when you read about your friend’s amazing night? Well you obviously aren’t alone, researchers have even coined a term for it, FOMO, the fear of missing out. It’s that annoying nagging feeling that tells you what you are doing isn’t fun enough, that you need to be doing whatever it is that your 5 class friends just tweeted about.
FOMO has been around for years, but due to the increase in social media it’s become worse. Not only are you seeing those brag-tastic status updates, but then you are putting them up, which makes someone else put another one up…and the vicious cycle continues. Although the instantaneous connection to friends all over the world is pretty great, I could totally deal with missing out on FOMO.
So in order to help combat that utterly horrible feeling, I’ve put together a little “what to do if” guide to help you take back your days/nights:
What to do if you get a text about an amazing party while you are studying: First off, in my 3 (basically 4) years of college I’ve learned one major thing with cell phones and studying…they do not go together. So unless you are waiting on a really important text (like the well-being of a loved one, not a text from the boy you like), then turn off your phone! If you did leave it on, and are feeling a little FOMOish, respond back with “Let me know about the next one.” This way you can stick to your study sesh knowing you’ll go out next time. And let’s be real, it will probably be the next night.
What to do if you see a status that makes your weekend look like crap: “OMG the party was so awesome!! You should’ve been there.” It’s at that point my gut starts sinking and I start regretting my weekend spent with Meg Ryan and Betty Crocker. The key to defeating it is to rationalize, you didn’t go out for a reason, right? You were tired, didn’t want to be near people, etc. And if you had gone out while feeling like that chances are you wouldn’t have had the super time you are imagining. Oh and if someone is constantly bragging about their fab life, hide their updates. You’ll thank me later.
What to do if you are getting updates of what friends are doing while you are sitting on your couch: It’s Wednesday night and you opted for Modern Family and Cougar Town, while 10 people you follow and 20 facebook friends opted for the new bar opening down the street. Not only do you have to deal with the annoying noises the notifications make, but that sinking feeling you made the wrong choice is back again. Turn off your notifications, I repeat, if you are staying home alone just turn them off. I’ll repeat what I’ve already said: You made this choice for a reason, you needed some quality time with a family that’s more dysfunctional than yours, and it’s okay to stay in!
What to do if the party invite you rejected ended up being better than the bar you opted for: Obviously if someone is taking pictures at a party, for the most part, it will seem like a better time. I mean why wouldn’t someone document a good time! But, you’re forgetting it’s college — all we do is take pictures and make bad decisions. Just because the bar wasn’t as packed as the party doesn’t mean you didn’t have fun, and just because the party seems fun in the pictures does not mean you would’ve had fun there.
Regardless of the situation, just remember why you made your decision in the first place, and that no one else has to know what you did. So if you are feeling super fomo-ey than just post an obnoxious update, i.e. “Last night was amazing! Can’t wait to see Zac E again!!” …They don’t need to know you saw him in a movie, and plan on watching another one tonight.