The Social Media Factor: Summer FOMO

Capitol Avenue presents: A social media summer whining fest about how much fun everyone else is having.

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You know how sometimes, when you’re scrolling through Instagram on the weekends or during summer and this feeling of “oh my god what am I doing with my life” hits you really hard? There it is, on your screen, an acquaintance from work or school having the time of his/her life, and then suddenly you look at your yourself and all you see is an old tee and a pair of shorts on the same couch position you were 3 hours ago. Same.

Confession: FOMO (fear of missing out) via social media is a constant element in my (lack of) social life, and I find myself being extra “salty” and jealous during the summer, when everyone I know is having more fun than me. And I hate it.

Vacation

One summer FOMO thing documented the most on social media is vacationing moments. From the second the plane takes off – carefully edited Instagram picture from the window seat, caption: see you in a few weeks *peace sign emoji*. To the baggage claim at the airport arrivals – snapchat with the city’s location filter, caption: kill me now *gun emoji*, creating just the perfect amount of the act cool vibe. And let’s not forget the beach shots with the “casual monday morning #paradise #blessed” caption, and bonus points if get the hot dog or legs situation in, too. These moments are what social media is invented for, to create a perfect curation of the highlights of other people’s lives in order to make you despise your own. Whether your friend is off to New York, Thailand, or the coasts of Santorini this summer, through social media, FOMO is hitting harder than ever. But in the grand scheme of things, no matter how much you hate yourself after binge watching an entire show in a week on Netflix, if it makes you happy while watching it, then it’s better than any kind of paradise an overpriced Bora Bora trip has to offer.

Social Gatherings

According to the modern tech-savvy generation, everytime you’re out with someone everything must be documented. Whether it’s a 15 minute sit-down with fraps at starbucks, a shopping trip, a concert with your friend at the fair, aunt susan’s wedding, or just a brief lunch, no social gathering situation is complete without a 100 second snapchat story of incoherent talking and inside jokes, an Instagram picture of what you consumed during this gathering, and of course, a small tweet of “had so much fun today with @_______ *smiley blushing/contentment emoji*”. I mean, not that many people wants to see you talk about something they’re not invited to on every social media outlet. Do we hang out with our friends to be with people we like or to infuse jealousy in people we barely know? Did you even go to a party if there isn’t a long ass snapchat story about it?

Clothes

Ah yesss, the American flag shorts, despite the fact that A) you don’t live in the US, B) July Fourth isn’t even here yet, or C) it already passed. You can select more than one answers. And let’s not forget the sunflower cropped tops and flower crown combo. On one social media page or all, under the #ootd hashtag while holding the piece sign or a cup of starbucks. I applaud these people for having the body to pull off these clothes while I lie in bed all day. But despite your need to tell me what you’re wearing every day, I am perfectly fine and content with my tee shirt and gym shorts, despite making no recent visits, thank you very much.

Of course, FOMO and this intense social media jealousy can never really be eradicated, the only thing that you can really do is close those app down and realize that you secretly enjoyed those drinks last night even with the hangover today this morning, or that you do love the show you watched and finished this week, even though you felt like you lost a sense of purpose this morning. Unless they’re filthy rich where they’re actually able to live this vacation-y and Instagram-worthy lifestyle everyday, it’s unlikely your acquaintances genuinely do live in that constant bliss. I read this thing on Pinterest once, where the quote is like “The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”. And I think this goes for these FOMO/jealousy moments, as well. The people you follow, they too, have their Netflix and do nothing days. People select their best contents to create a sense of jealousy in people. And just because while looking through that content, your lifestyle doesn’t look as fun as theirs do, doesn’t mean that you are any less interesting. You are not missing out on fun. Your FOMO is a FO-NO.

All the love.

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