Social Media FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Technology and social media sure have their advantages, don't they? You can keep up with long distance relatives and long lost friends. You can digitally document happy moments in your lifetime. You can share your work and connect with other likewise people who share your passions. We have all of this right our finger tips and it's so great, isn't it? Maybe not always. Research is proving more and more that the overuse of it can have negative affects (which is kind of obvious in my opinion). We are such a digitally connected generation, and according to one report, we spend an average of up to 3.8 hours a day online in America. According to another study, the average smartphone user checks their phone up to 110 times a day, and for some people, their phone is unlocked up to 900 times a day. That number alone gives me a slight anxiety. Why are we checking it so often? What is just SO important that we feel the need to have a constant connection? It seems as though a lot of it has to do with being afraid of missing something big or important in our social media news feeds. And this is where FOMO comes in. Our feeds are constantly filled with photos from adventure-filled holidays, epic achievements, the latest and greatest gadgets one may have purchased, washboard abs from picture-perfect workouts, etc.  We don't want to miss out on these posts because we want to feel like we're in the loop - that we're up-to-date with what's going on. But we also feel like we're missing out on what our friends are experiencing. Then in comes the self-comparing and it's really just a downhill snowball effect from there. It's a full circle FOMO, and it leaves people very dependent to their smartphones, and a feeling of anxiety and disconnect sets in when we're without. If you're experiencing what I've just described, I think you should consider stepping back for awhile. Take a break. You're not actually missing out on much. You're just missing out on the life that you're living, while you spend hours scrolling on your phone.

Over the past few months, I've been making it a point to check my phone less and less. For business purposes, I try to post once a day on Instagram to keep my daily activity in check and grow The Ivory Fawn audience, but other than that, I've turned off all notifications to all apps, silenced my phone, and I've even changed a text message setting so I can't even see if I've received a message unless I actually open my phone. I've been making more of an effort to leave my phone out of reach while at home, and kept in my purse, untouched, while out an about - ESPECIALLY when I'm with someone. I'm not saying social media is horrible and should be avoided as much as possible...absolutely not. I just think we spend too much time, absorbed and saturated, checking to see what's going on. We're too connected in an unconnected way, if that makes sense. I hope this has inspired you, even if just a little bit, to disconnect more. It feels amazing.

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