FOMO, or, the Fear Of Missing Out, (which yes, is now real enough to qualify for an Official Acronym) is a bit of wrench thrown into dating, relationships, and definitely friendships, in the year 2013.
Besides being a hardcore lying deterrent for those of us smart enough to realize that lying about your whereabouts and then immediately posting contrary photographic evidence on your social media feeds is a bad idea, social media is like the Plans Police.
Said you didn’t plan on going out? Probably not the best idea to post that Instagram of your eight shots lined up on a bar. Had a day of ‘errands’ that would prevent you from meeting up with your BFF? Probably not wise to check in on Foursquare at a restaurant … and tag your other pals.
The list goes on and on – but when do these social media platforms stop being a fun tool to share experiences with friends (and acquaintances … and coworkers … and creeps) and instead a FOMO-inducing friendship harmer?
Sure, you could make the argument that if you’re a fantastic friend who never lies about their whereabouts, intentions, or otherwise daily plans, this is a non-issue. But even in the situation of no one being ‘at fault,’ it sure is shitty feeling to wake up from an uninterrupted-by-cellphone-nap to find out everyone else is hanging out without you.
So how to remedy this very-modern ailment? Its easier said than done, and I for one am still learning how to practice what I preach, but: turn it off.
That’s it! Its seriously that simple. Learn to love and cherish your alone time, and respect that you’re not going to be a part of the plans every single time … and that’s OKAY. Hey, if you hung out every single minute of every single day, what would you have to talk about? Let’s be real, there’s nothing more hilarious than the awkward silence of friends hanging out after having just spent a workday chatting online: “How was your day? … wait. I already know.”
That being said, if your FOMO is more about your friends lying to you, and less you managing the green-eyed-jealousy-monster-of-hang-out-fun, you also may want to start looking into some new buds. That’s just a tip.
By Liza Nedelman
[main page photo credit: Women’s Health / photo credit: Mashable]