For the same reason that when we were teenagers we couldn’t stand being the only person not invited to a birthday party, and now we wouldn’t feel right if someone excluded us from a similar event, social networks can contribute to bad feelings with others. What are we talking about? From that feeling that runs through our body when we see a photo, a comment or a ‘like’ from a friend -real or 2.0- to any other friend on a social network, leaving us out of a meeting for example.
What have you been where? What about me? And why these two have been and have not warned me? Since when are these people friends and why do they have such a good time? Why didn’t I find out that there was this premiere? When have you opened this store? And other even worse questions come when there is a lack of WIFI connection, a problem with the mobile or with the applications themselves… what if I miss something on Instagram? This anxiety has a name.
FOMO, or the fear of missing out on social media
Fear of Missing Out is the name given to this increasingly widespread pathology these days. It literally means ‘fear of missing out’, of not being in the hot moment. This happens because the overexposure of photos on social networks sometimes makes us feel that the lives of others are much more wonderful than ours. That people are more beautiful -oh those filters…-, happier and that they love each other more, feel more and go to wonderful places while you see them from your bed in your Instagram search engine.
In an era where it is easier than ever to mask a problem, -after all, social networks only shout to the sky the happiness we feel when we see a sunset or drink a coffee with milk, but never how tired we are, for example-, it is likely that anxiety makes its appearance when seeing others in photo or video format, which we will never have. If we already explained to you that being envious of others for their posts on social networks is not only worthless, but also makes you unhappier, then you will understand why there are people who suffer from FOMO by not getting the acceptance they are looking for in the world. 2.0.
That constant anguish of missing something – finding the love of your life to upload 700 romantic selfies with, going to amazing places to take amazing photos, smiling until you drop with your friends… – can symbolize a real problem. Friends have always been able to make plans with other people without this leading to misunderstandings. But, what happens when you suddenly feel empty when you see it captured in a photograph with dozens of “likes”? That FOMO appears, that feeling of being left out, that others are better and happier than you.
Never forget that if people lie on a daily basis, they also tell lies on social networks. For this reason, this fear of missing out on something, of not being the center or of lack of acceptance can happen on a screen, but if we turn off the smartphone and learn -or rather, relearn- to relate to each other in real life, this problem may be distressing to evaporate because in the networks, as in Big Brother, everything is magnified.