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I admit it, sometimes when I go on Facebook, I have FOMO (fear of missing out).  I also have JOOPL (jealousy of other people’s lives).  And sometimes TIDMU (thinking I don’t measure up).  But deep down, I know it’s all BS.

Someone might post a thousand photos of themselves with their adoring spouse, but they might also spend evenings fighting with them over money.  Facebook is a curated world where everyone looks great and is doing amazing things.  No one posts pics of themselves doing laundry or balancing their checkbook.  Well, unless they’re a mommy blogger. Or a Kardashian.  In which case we all know it’s fake.

But that’s the thing – it’s all fake.  It’s the side of someone they want you to see. You can’t tell this from social media, but everyone has doubts and down days.  And no matter how many fabulous things you post, there will always be someone who can post something more fabulous. And this is hurting us, especially the young. So what to do?

Limit your time on social media.  It is set up to suck you in.  You’ll start off wanting to wish a friend happy birthday, then 20 minutes later you’ll emerge enraged by a political post.  (20 minutes a day is 5 days a year.  You could be having your own cool adventures if you’d stay off FB.)

Pay attention to how it makes you feel.  Do you log off feeling happy and connected?  Enlightened?  Then rock on!  If no, make adjustments.

Put it all in perspective.  If someone is spending all of their vacation posting on FB, are they really present?  Are they engaging with the world around them or busy trying to convince the rest of us of their worth?  I’m all for posting a few pics, but I think you know what I mean.  Are you seeing the beauty of the sunset and thinking about your place in the world or are you trying to get your hair right in your selfie?

Remind yourself it’s not a contest.  Somehow it seems to have become a contest – the number of followers you have equated to your worth as a person.  But what if we thought of it this way: when we post we want something – reassurance, validation, attention, money.  Would we post if there were no audience?  Therefore, those who post the most must be the most needy.  That realization should take FOMO right off the table.

The present moment is all you have, be careful with how often you give it to social media.

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Loretta Yingling
4 years ago

Very interesting! I post ALOT, because I like t document everything (and I’ve started ordering the yearly photo books offered via FB so I REMEMBER everything, lol!) but I never thought about that being a sign that I am needy. I just like to share the joy. I need to do the FOMO and look deep into myself I think! Thanks for the insight!