The Social Media Effect: 32 Letter’s Guide to Avoid #FOMO

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Around 15 years ago, when “intense” social media took over our lives, the “fear of missing out,” a.k.a. FOMO, seemingly took control of our minds every moment of the day.

I qualify it as “intense” because in social media’s early days, there were no pictures, status or videos to share with your followers.

All you had was your profile picture on MySpace or BlackPlanet. Still, #FOMO managed to creep out even back then when your “Top 8” list of “friends” caused an argument with your real life friends.

Aaah, the days before constant notifications. Now, you can attend your former BFF’s wedding, go to your cousin’s graduation, and know the names of your soon-to-be boyfriend’s family without being in the same room.

On the latest podcast, we talked about various items popping up all over our timelines that gave us a serious case of #FOMO that quickly transformed to depression triggers. While we know pictures and videos could tell a different story (see: people front), they still make us feel some kind of way.

We came to the conclusion that you shouldn’t let social media control your feelings or what you think of your life.

Here are some quick tips:

Cut down on screen time

We’ve become so attached to our phones that it’s borderline dangerous. Just go ask a room full of people if they look at their phones before bed or a soon as they wake up. Without a doubt, most of them would say yes. Studies have shown that excessive screen time before bed can disrupt sleep patterns. Put your phone down at least one hour before bed to allow your mind enough time to calm and unwind before lying down.

Do a social media cleanse

I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to build a habit (well, I truly believe it takes really 90 days). If you practice Lent — a 40 day religious season between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday where you give up something as a way to replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ — utilize this time as a kick off to reduce or eliminate social media from your life. After the 40 days, you should have less of an urge to update your status or post a photo of your hot meal as soon as it’s placed in front of you.


Unfollow and defriend people who trigger you–even if it’s your own momma

If you’re like me, and you’ve been on Facebook since 2005, you have hundreds of “friends” that you added to your life that you haven’t seen or spoken to in real life in over a decade. There’s no reason why you are allowing strangers into your world or should you care about them going to Miami for the 32nd time.

Obviously, keeping tabs on your ex can be quite addictive, but you should just now that they will eventually move on and you will, too. They play-by-play isn’t necessary and they don’t need to see you shining bright like a diamond either. BLOCK!

And yes, parents who didn’t grow up with the social media generation can be totally inappropriate like commenting on photos in their parental tone. There’s a way to avoid an argument at the dinner table. Check out more tips in the podcast below.

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