Well, paint me green and slap me silly. It’s not enough that the good people behind the keyboards butcher languages to abbreviations or acronyms but they come up with the silliest terms and trends, too.
In a world where time is money, in a surrounding that makes us achieve more and more, our social life has become tainted and more demanding: technology has become more and more appealing and we have become addicted to this virtual love and hate relationship. The social media platform which allows us to most efficiently manage our social life has hindered fantasies that substitute reality and it is taking a toll.
It seems that everyone around you, mostly on the internet, except you, is happier and doing things cooler than you, generally out doing you. Seeing flash mobs of friends having a good time at a party you were not invited to; an old university friend having the time of his life in Thailand; a childhood friend getting married!
And those damn selfies, images that we ourselves doctored so that we look just right, have in turn exploded into after sex selfies. This is the epitome of over sharing. Though it’s an extension of a culture that encourages people to share their private details, calling it a trend will make it one, inspiring people to follow suit. We are sacrificing conversation for a desired image of our self and endless self-promotion.
Do we really need to know when a friend or any Tom, Dick or Harry have had sex or what they look like after? Do you really need to nurse a FOMO (Fear of missing out) for that? Next, there might a trend to take selfies after a dump. Too much personal information for any anonymous person to see is just pathetic. I tried looking for another word but that fits aptly. The social media world makes even the oddest things epidemic and they know we cannot stop scrolling.
Collecting friends like stamps, not distinguishing between quantity over quality, converting the deep meaning of friendship and intimacy with photos and chat conversation. I can see that it’s not hard to develop terms or trends for the 21st century to pen down what we feel (or what we want people to think we feel). I could banter on about how society is falling apart: how social media has kicked off moral decay and no mystery is left anymore. But I won’t.
Instead, let us just take a moment and reflect.
FOMO: Why are we so fearful of missing out? The first word, FEAR does not seem to be a healthy motivation to do things, or get us moving. Fear causes us to shrivel up with tension and apprehension which leads to anxiety. It can heighten insecurities and jealous emotions and then we hang back. One thought leads to another, making stress spiral out of control and without realising, it can develop into a pattern.
How do we get by without catching this virus?
Simple step: Realise that the endless montage of highs displayed are nothing more than calculated captured moments of artificial happiness. The person behind the camera demands a smile and the model (the term is loosely used here) obliges by widening the mouth with a grin hiding the truth: the model might want to actually kill the person behind the camera, unless of course, he or she is being paid.
The honest truth is that most of us will have to muster an enormous amount of energy just to take a shower after a long day’s work – information that will not reach social media anyway. For some, the working hours do not stop. The very same people you would love to trade places with, even for a few hours are most probably tired themselves. In other words, the human experiences illustrated are not the whole truth.
I know, I’m swimming into dark, uncharted waters here but honestly you could do better things with your time. It takes a sincere lack of awareness to post a picture of yourself undressed or partially dressed to the Internet at this point: Creating a digital future where image is everything – bikini clad to look at my big butt– loses an intelligent discourse dispensed with the quick click of the delete button. It’s scary to think that we might end up consciously staging wanton moments to make everything look right.
Instead, take a ‘me’ time out. Even simpler step: Just stop. Inhale. Exhale and stop.
You are in control not the digital world. Stay away from the social network for a while.
(I know it’s not easy but just try). If you usually use it to chat, then send an email or text.
Combat the feelings that FOMO bring on: Live in the present; Take up a hobby; Go for a walk; call up a friend and go for a coffee; there is so much one can do. You could count your blessings and accept new ones.
Inject a vaccine against this virus that causes unwanted anxiousness. Everyone tries to do a million things at one go but what you really need to do is … stop. Our world, society is moving too fast. We need to enjoy the little things in life. Anxiety or FOMO is generated in our minds only if we allow it to.