FOMO, or, the fear of missing out, is defined on Wikipedia as a "pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent.
It perpetuates the fear that we have made the wrong decision on how to spend our time, as you can imagine how things could be different."
Although I do believe FOMO is a concept that has always existed, I think it has become much more apparent due to our over-abundance of technology and social media.
Naturally, if you miss out on something you didn't want to miss out on, you will suffer from some degree of social angst.
However, this angst can be deeply exaggerated when scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram news feed.
According to the Huffington Post, recent studies show FOMO is often linked to feelings of disconnection and dissatisfaction and that those who use social media suffer from higher levels of these feelings.
I had a serious case of extreme FOMO over the weekend. I happened to be sick, so decided to skip out on a party Friday night; however, I almost went out, regardless of how worn down and ill I felt.
The whole night, I refused to open the Snapchats I received because I knew they would make my already extreme FOMO much worse.
I also tried my best to resist texting friends for updates and scrolling through my Instagram and Facebook feeds. It was a serious, anxiety-provoking struggle.
And that is when it hit me: I need to get the f*ck over FOMO.
The only way I will get over it is to explain to myself — right here and right now — why it is so irrational:
1. It's impossible to not miss out on something
I usually make a solid effort to attend every single event I am invited to, even if I don't want to.
If I see my friends are attending, I immediately count myself in. But, to be totally honest, half the events I end up attending are not ultimately worth it.
It is impossible to be included in absolutely everything, so why am I wasting my time trying to do so? I need to accept that things happen every day without me, and that is okay.
2. It is completely and totally irrational
It causes you to believe that if you decide to stay in one night, you'll miss out on something awesome. This got me thinking: When was the last time I actually went out and experienced something "awesome?"
I'm not saying I don't have fun when I go out because I do. I'm just saying that I rarely experience anything novel or hugely spectacular on a night out.
So, why do I fear that the one night I decide to stay in will be the night I miss out on something awesome and out of the ordinary?
3. Social media can be an inaccurate representation of life
Social media is very good for presenting an endless montage of the highs of people's everyday lives. Instagram, for example, basically presents Photoshopped versions of peoples lives.
We "crop out" the days we spend crying over breakups or the days we spend eating our feelings in comfort food. Instead, we post these beautiful, filtered images that show the most positive and happy aspects of our lives.
Just because someone posts a beautiful photo doesn't mean he or she lives this happy, perfect life — don't get sucked into that lie.
4. Focus on the present moment
What is the point in wasting time, worrying about what everyone else is doing and how much more fun they are having.
Instead, we should be focusing on whatever it is we are currently doing — whether that's watching a show, reading a book or having a nice, long bath.
Be mindful and try to be in a state of open, active, intentional attention to the present. Too often we spend our lives waiting for the weekend, summer, holidays, etc.
Too often we spend our time stuck in the past. Pay attention to the present moment.
Let's all get the f*ck over FOMO.