How to minimise FOMO:
- Set a timer when you start to scroll on social media so that you don't waste hours online
- Keep a gratitude journal
- Put your phone down and do something - go for a bike ride, bake something, create something.
The fear of missing out has been around for centuries but it has been exacerbated by mobile phones and social media as we compare our ordinary lives to other people's highlight reels. Researchers have found that the fear of missing out is linked to smartphone and social media usage. This is not surprising really - the more we see other people doing fun, exciting things the more we feel that we are missing out. Ironically, when we are feeling depressed or anxious, our social media usage increases which then increases our fear of missing out, which increases our depression and anxiety etc.
How to minimise FOMO:
Shine from Within are offering a free two week trial of their online academy. This includes access to both live and recorded workshops on topics such as activism, movement, wellness, creativity and life skills. There are presenters from around the world. You can find a very informative video on their website about the online academy - https://shinefromwithin.academy. I have done some of the classes myself and really enjoyed them. The great thing is, you can access them from anywhere. Once your free trial is up, it only costs $25 per month. It would be a great thing to do during the Easter break.
I have a confession to make, I don't spend a lot of time on Instagram. This week I thought I would do some "research" and spend a bit of time exploring. By the end of it I was sick of looking at perfect bikini-clad bodies, perfectly cute couples, perfect families, perfectly styled hair, perfectly applied make-up, perfectly styled homes... you get the picture. Don't get me wrong - I love my life, but it doesn't seem to stack up against these immaculately staged snapshots. But that is just what most of them are - staged. Life is not perfect - it's messy and hard sometimes. There are plenty of apps, filters and editing programs that can erase blemishes and other imperfections. It's important to remember that what you're looking at, and comparing yourself to, is not real. Instagram use has been linked to low self-esteem. Psychologist, Dr Marny Lishman, suggests that we cull who we follow in Instagram every few months. She said we should ask ourselves, "does this account make me feel inspired, or does it make me feel bad?"
Hugh van Cuylenburg spent a few months living and volunteering in India in 2008. Despite the fact that the villagers didn't have very much the were very happy. When Hugh got back to Australia he continued his studies and worked out that the key to the villager's happiness was gratitude, empathy and mindfulness. He wrote a book called The Resilience Project and now there is an app. It is only $4.49 and is available on android and iTunes. You can find out more about it in the video below.
New Zealand has produced a series of advertisements about staying safe online. This one about online grooming is funny but creepy at the same time. You can find out more at https://www.keepitrealonline.govt.nz. If you are in Australia, you can report online grooming at https://www.accce.gov.au - the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation. The safety commissioner has information on cat fishing (someone pretending to be someone they're not) at https://www.esafety.gov.au. If you suspect that someone is catfishing or grooming, talk to a trusted adult. Take screenshots of conversations as evidence. Stay safe.
This app has been in the news a lot lately so I thought I'd check it out. While I was scrolling through Tik Tok I saw a lot of teen guys and girls who know they're hot showing off, some bad lip-syncing, some good dancing, some average dancing, some dangerous challenges, some illegal street racing, some rich kids showing off their bedrooms and homes, a lot of swearing and a really cool pool shot.
My verdict: While there is nothing wrong with the idea of the app, sharing 15 second videos, there are some issues with how it is being used. When you sign up the privacy setting is set to public. If you change it to private you will avoid 40 year old men sending inappropriate comments. You can also turn off the comments facility, otherwise it's just another avenue for trolls to do what they do. Any platform that is used by young people attracts pedophiles. One scantily clad girl had the message on her screen, "I'm fifteen, if you're over 18 and tell me I'm hot, that's creepy." You can't actually delete your account - you have to provide your phone number to the app so they can send you a code to delete your account. Finally, you can waste a lot of time on Tik Tok so maybe set a timer.