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Are You Affected by FOLO? Find Out!

You’ve been organizing your social media icons on the first screen of your smartphone and every time you have a 3 minutes break, you’re checking them all obsesively, making sure you’re not missing out on what the others are doing. You should find out that this is old school, in terms of social media addiction. FOMO is so 2016. So .... What’s the next syndrome on the list?

Let’s begin with the „fear of missing out”

The term FOMO was added in the Oxford dictionary in 2013, the same year that Facebook launched the new news feed, introduced the hashtags and won some important ground in front of Vine by introducing Instagram videos. So, a perfect year for a new social anxiety term to be unveiled by specialists.

FOMO is considered related to social anxiety because its elements include the stress related to a certain social performance that, on the online medium, is validated by the attention that you receive through social networks.

On short, social media anxiety covers those situations where offline discussions with your friends are always redirected towards what people are doing on Facebook. Or, those situations where you obsesively keep refreshing your page to find out what people commented on your latest post, right in the middle of your report meeting. In the morning, the first thing you do is checking your phone, to see what’s happened while you were asleep. Or the panic you might feel in a place where you have no mobile signal. All of these are simptoms that some psychologists consider to be related to a syndrom caused by the excesive use of social media, with treatments and therapy sessions associated.

How serious is this?

Social media anxiety is associated with social anxiety – our need to be appreciated and validated in our social circles is assumed by psychology for years, but the fear to be judged and, starting from there, falsifying our own images towards certain trends could be even more serious in social media, where interactions are much more simplified. So, if you think you’re spending too much time in social media, you probably are. And it’s as probable that you could replace this time with activities that are more constructive, and closer to your personal goals.

Next level – FOLO

The term describes the “fear of living offline”, a phenomenon that takes some really serious amplitude – nothing can exist strictly offline, every burger, cat, muffin and cocktail you meet needs to be instantly associated with your online profile. A somewhat “if you’re not on the internet, you don’t exist”, but reported to all the tiny details of you day to day life. Here’s how you can figure out if you’ve crossed FOMO and reached FOLO:

  1. A weekend without Internet access will absolutely ruin your fun. More than that, you can even have a strategy on posting the images you took, starting Monday. #latergram is your friend.
  2. You have a post prepared for Saturday evening, several days before. Even for your most average weekend, you need to put pressure on yourself to find at least an angle where your basic sandwich seems to be a gourmet one or a shot in which your groceries are so beautifully arranged that you’ll surely receive a like from your favorite food blogger.
  3. When you’re leaving for the holidays, you’re activating a better optimized editorial plan than for all the campaigns at work. The check-in from the airport, the menu, the selfie, recommending tourist objectives, the poetic images that you absolutely need to find and report, and the perfect poses for all the family members. For FOMO professionals, we’ll just add in the luggage a drone, some boomerang type apps, some editing apps and even some really professional Facebook live activations.
  4. You’re perfectly convinced that your friends are following every post you publish. You’re considering that as you encourage them with likes and shares, they have an obligation to be fast and to react at everything you post. You might even get a bit angry when they don’t. I mean, they’re your friends, right?
  5. You often surprise yourself being in a competition with the others – any offline situation needs to be more spectacular than relaxing and you are in a tireless search for the better shot, the more intense, more significant image. #wokeuplikethis?

The solution? An objective reality check, a priority list that leads your time spending and much more energy consumed on pumping an image, at the expanse of dealing with reality. At the end, you’ll be sure to increase your productivity and spend some time on things that are really important for you.

posted by Ioana on 2017-09-17 07:20:36

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