The fear of missing out is a real problem.
I find myself, along with millions and possibly billions of other people, constantly checking my feeds because I don’t want to miss anything. And worse yet, it is a form of escapism.
I tend to tell myself that since I work in the digital world so I HAVE TO be on the internet so I am up to date with the latest news. Oh, and while I’m at it, I’ll check all of my feeds over and over again.
People get depressed and anxious when they see other people having fun while they are at home on their phones.
“That should be me.”
“Why didn’t they invite me?”
“Why does my life suck so much?”
Most of us have had these thoughts running through our heads and will continue to have them if we don’t do something about it.
I sometimes catch myself with my phone in my hand scrolling endlessly and looking at stuff that doesn’t add any value to my life. Our phones are permanently glued to our hands and our head and neck are used to looking down that when we do look up, the time has passed us by.
Social media is like a drug and drugs are hazardous to our health and even worse, it can destroy lives and relationships.
According to a survey from the American Psychiatric Association, more than one-third of American adults view social media as harmful to their mental health.
Two-thirds of the survey’s respondents believe that social media usage is related to social isolation and loneliness. There is a strong body of research linking social media use with depression. Other studies have linked it to envy, lower self-esteem, and social anxiety.
So, what can we do?
The “easiest” way is to put your phone down and not check it so much but it’s not that easy. It’s an addiction for a lot of people nowadays even if we don’t like to admit it. But much like trying to quit other vices like alcohol, drugs, caffeine, etc., we just need to stop doing it and wean ourselves off.
I tend to grab my phone when I feel “bored” like when I’m in line at a coffee shop but that is adding to the problem. I am telling myself that it is fine to check my phone for a few minutes to pass the time but in reality, it is not ok.
Another thing to do is to not let it control how you feel. Looking at pictures and tweets about what other people are doing may make you feel jealous but we can't let it overtake our emotions and how we react to things. I try my best to be mindful about my feelings when I do check my phone and not let other people and their posts dictate how I should feel because, in the end, it is not helpful at all. Nothing good will come of it if we become jealous, envious, sad, and/or angry.
Like a lot of things, it may be hard at first but the reward of being free and less anxious will be worth it.