We’ve gotta love the internet and it’s ability to spread concepts + ideas instantaneously. FOMO is a fairly new acronym to me, although I have a lot of experience dealing with the consequences + realities of what it does to people.
Fear of missing out.
It’s the reason you have immediate notifications turned on in your phone for facebook, instagram, what’s app, pinterest. It’s the compulsive need to open your email and read anything new in there even if it’s not quite the right moment + it doesn’t have your full attention.
We want to know what’s going on everywhere. All the time. Especially if it’s happening somewhere we aren’t. It’s a bit like PAC MAN, but we’re obsessively consuming information rather than food.
If you’re not sure if you’re affected by this – just monitor your distractions for 24 hours. Notice how many times you might be doing one thing only to be interrupted by a notification of some kind. 5 minutes later (if you’re lucky) you realise you aren’t doing what you were supposed to be doing. Sometimes you forget entirely what you were doing, all in the name of knowing immediately.
It’s happening to you in some form or another. And if it’s not, I really congratulate you – you are truly living in the now. Please share your gifts with the world so we can all learn.
Why is FOMO a bad thing?
I don’t really want to label it as a bad thing, but just highlight what it does to us.
We’re constantly on a state of high alert for the next piece of information. Our nervous systems + adrenals are not given much of a chance to take a break.
By being busy worrying about what you are missing out on, you are missing out on something. It’s the moment you’re in. Your FOMO is creating MO, FO. Missing Out, Forever Online.
Have you been in a conversation with someone who constantly picks up the notifications they receive on their phone? Are you that person? What does it do to the quality of conversation you are having? How enjoyable is that time for either one of you?
I’m fascinated by the area of addiction that has slid into our lives. It’s much more subtle than drugs or alcohol because it has the illusion of being productive. We look busy + important when we’re on our phones. We look like the kind of people other people should be getting notifications about. This is the age of the selfie.
Worst of all, it’s considered socially acceptable.
I’m not against social media and the internet. I actually love it. It’s so amazing to be able to connect with people all around in the world in an instant.
I’m reflecting on how we make this a joyful + aware experience rather than a mindless + inherently stressful one.
I invite you to reflect, even for just 24 hours, on how this impacts your life. Notice the impulse to know and check things immediately. How many times do you refresh your Facebook feed wondering why nobody has posted anything in the last ten minutes? Be honest with yourself about it + note it down.
I’m certain you’ll be surprised by how much you do it, I certainly was. Even as a person who teaches awareness + mindfulness, I regularly fall into the trap of FOMO. It’s subconscious, so when I catch myself doing it I can bring awareness back in + be in the present moment. But it still happens.
I’d love to hear how this experiment goes for you, join Bliss-seekers to share your findings with others + share tips on how you make your connected time valuable. For me, my group itself is one of the ways I ensure I use my social media time well. Posts pop up on my feed regularly that are inspiring + I just love the sharing + engagement in the group. Positivity + human connection in my newsfeed is what keeps me showing up on social media, but it has to be done with care + awareness. We want mindful social media rather than senseless.
So what can we do about it?
I have put together an online training called Break Free From Your Social Media Addiction. It includes:
Week 1: Reality check – understanding where you really are with this addiction
Week 2: Introducing new activities – beginning to break down the reliance on the internet and social media to fill out time
Week 3: Clear out + maintenance of the earlier steps so you can keep this going, plus a bonus kundalini yoga kriya/meditation for dealing with addiction.
At the moment this is only available within Blissful Life Yoga, as a part of a huge range of kundalini yoga and meditation resources declined to help you relax and focus on what’s important to you. Join today to gain access.
P.S. Don’t forget to join the Bliss-Seekers group if you want to start harnessing your FB time in a more positive way.