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  • Writer's pictureMarcela Scott

I don’t want to miss a thing!

Updated: Nov 21, 2023

Written by Anderson Dupuis Wellness therapist, Marcela Scott, RSW, MSW (pending)

If you are about the same age I am, you probably remember the popular (and played to the extreme) song from Aerosmith - "I don’t want to miss a thing". However, if you do not know it, I suggest you google it, and look for the lyrics. It was a romantic anthem back in 1998.

The internet is fascinating. We can look up for things way before our time and information on every topic. It allows us to connect with people far away and people who share our interests. It can make us feel that we belong in a world full of memes that make us laugh because we can relate to the “struggle”.

But social media comes with its dark side too. It allows us to see a made-up reality, and it provides us with standards of behaviour that are either impossible to follow or extremely high maintenance. It also shows us that there is a magnificent world that never stops, is constantly moving and, if we join, it will bring extreme satisfaction.

Our world is amazing, yes. Do we need to explore it all? No.

Remember the song I mentioned earlier? It sounds so romantic that a person who loves someone that much does not want to even close their eyes in fear of missing anything the person does.

However, the reality means this person is obsessed with seeing everything that is happening because it is fascinating.

Very similarly, social media has become that obsession. Everything is new, and it is constantly changing. Thus, we always want to keep up.

FOMO, or the fear of missing out, was a term coined in 2004, right at the time when social media began to be more accessible, with the explosion of Facebook, personal blogs such as MySpace and Hi5 (If you do not remember these, do not worry, you did not miss much). Therefore, researchers started to investigate this phenomenon as part of the rise in mental health issues associated with internet use. FOMO has been shown to have many negative consequences, such as impulsive consumption, increase in substance misuse, and not wanting to repeat experiences which can also lead to low levels of satisfaction, in other words, always being thrill-seeking. Surprisingly, thrill-seeking is not only experienced in extreme sports, but also in trying that unique and time-limited pastry.

In a technological age, it is challenging to disconnect from our phones and social media. Particularly if you need it for work or business. In addition, access to solutions in a rapid fashion that range from how to keep your home tidier to life-saving maneuvers has its perks. And, of course, do not forget the often-needed laugh from videos of cats being…impolite.

So what can we do? Balance. Awareness. Self-love.

Making sure we spend time doing what brings us joy outside of social media, in real life, and without influence or agenda. In other words, look for things to do that are personal to you outside of the messages from social media.

Make yourself aware of how much time you spend on social media, and most importantly, check your mood! How are you feeling after checking it? Do you feel motivated or overwhelmed? Excited or anxious? Content or melancholic?

Understanding our emotions can be an excellent tool for understanding how something affects us. And finally, self-love. How are you talking to yourself regardless of social media? Are you comparing to other people and what they do? We are unique and amazing human beings! Know yourself and love those beautiful qualities that make you, you. And when you know and love yourself, you will learn that it is ok to be happy where you are and to miss a thing or a million.

Thanks for reading! Please comment below if this resonated for you.

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