Let’s face it: we all have experienced FOMO. The fear of missing out is not an unknown concept to social media users because it is statistically proven that social media apps like Instagram and Facebook are the leading causes of FOMO around the world. But the true question is: what does it mean when someone has FOMO? What does FOMO even look like?
The answer to this is complex, as FOMO looks and feels different to many different people. The commonality amongst those feelings though is feeling isolated and alone due to the posts we see on social media that cause the FOMO. More often than not, the FOMO is started by posts our best friends and family post without us in it, making us wish we were there. Not only that, it makes us wish we were in the picture with them, everybody who likes the picture seeing how much fun you all are having. So it can be said that the fear derives either from missing out on a fun-filled evening or missing out on being included in such a great memory. And that is what Instagram does: it helps us capture moments and memories that we can cherish for a lifetime. That is what we at Tree Frog do too; we take those memories and allow a wider audience to be able to access them in hopes of building a new network of followers for you.
So, if social media apps like Instagram cause the FOMO to happen, how can we use it to combat that fear? Better yet, how can we use FOMO ourselves to alleviate the fear of experiencing it again?
Because Instagram is so multifaceted in its application and implementation, users can combat FOMO in a multitude of ways. If there is ever a chance for someone to experience FOMO due to an Instagram post hey saw, one way to combat FOMO using Instagram is through the story feature. Due to the temporary nature of the story, making temporary memories that will pass the time and will help make the FOMO pass is a beneficial use of Instagram. Posting stories about your thoughts, something fun you are doing, or even posting about what you are truly doing (which might have prevented you from going out in the first place) will show your friends and family how “unbothered” you are by their post. The more stories you post, the more they will acknowledge that you have no qualms with being excluded from the night’s activities and will prove to them how resilient you are when potentially facing FOMO.
Another great way of combating FOMO through Instagram is implementing the question feature! I am known to do this every now and again when I need a pick-me-up, but using this feature actually really works. When you fear that you are missing out on something great with your friends, go to your Instagram family and have them ask you random questions! Not only will this get your mind off of the FOMO, but it will also help you interact with your followers and engage in something more productive than wallowing in self-pity. The best part about these questions is that you can post them to your story as well (if you so choose), but having that kind of interaction with others will help you forget about the friends and family who went out without you.
Another way of combating FOMO and using it to your advantage are the face filters that one can use on Instagram. Granted, there are only so many filters that one can use, but the filters that Instagram provides are a great distraction from constantly thinking about the awesome party you are missing or the fun night out with friends you so desperately wanted to go to. Especially if you are bored at home and want to pass the time, slap the dog filter on your face or even one of the voice alteration filters that are provided! The point of combating FOMO is to distract yourself from the event that is going on, so putting those filters on your face and being silly for a little bit is a great way to distract you for the time being. Plus, posting them to your story for your followers to see or sending them directly to someone will enable a conversation to happen. Maybe that conversation will lead to your FOMO disappearing!
Another way of combating FOMO is posting what I like to call a series of “Stream of Consciousness” stories. Basically, using the time and the app to talk about something on your mind and inviting others to chime in! This can also be done as a livestream on Instagram too! Just start posting stories or talking in your livestream about things that are on your mind and allow your followers to interact with you. If you want to combat the FOMO that your family or friends may have caused by their social media posts, chat with your followers about everything and anything. You want to talk about the newest movie you saw? Go for it! You want to Segway that into a conversation about your favorite clothing store? Do it! You want to talk about the FOMO you are experiencing and asking if your followers have ever experienced it too? I say go for it! Nothing beats talking to people you don’t really know in hopes of building a new connection. There is no filter needed and you can literally say what is on your mind, whether you post a series of stories or you start a livestream. Plus, who’s saying that your family or friends won’t see your posts? Maybe you can use FOMO to your advantage by making them wish you were with them!
One final way of combating FOMO is simple. If you are not busy, use Instagram as your personal vlog! Take pictures or videos of your day and how it’s going. Show your followers, family, and friends what they are missing out on. Show them what you plan on eating, what you plan on watching, and even where you plan on going. Take an Instagram picture of your surroundings and show them how much fun you are having doing whatever it is you are doing. Take the FOMO and turn it into productivity, both in real life and on Instagram. Turn the fear of missing out into the courage of embracing the present and not worrying about what it is you could be doing. Evoke a sense of pride and wonder for your followers through these vlog-type posts and show everyone that you are not going to ruminate on what could have
been, but instead, you are going to embrace what you can control in the current moment. The moment your followers, family, and friends see this side of you through your daily vlogs, the more they will feel bad for leaving you out and possibly even wish they were doing what you are doing!
FOMO can be a nasty little nuisance when all you can think about is how much you are missing out on all the fun things your family or friends are doing. All of the different examples above are definitely effective ways of using social media like Instagram to combat it. While it is noted that social media causes FOMO, the purpose here is to use social media as a tool to not only alleviate the FOMO, but to also embrace each situation as if it is not your last. Us Millennials always see fun posts and wish we were there. We also often react as if not being there is the “end all, be all” to our existence. Well, it is not. If anything, the fear that pops into our heads make us believe this, but using our Instagram to get these voices out of our heads will prove productive to not only our social media presence, but our overall mental health as well.
If you or someone you know is experiencing FOMO due to various social media accounts or someone who constantly and chronically feels as if FOMO is an ever-present force in their life, contact us here at Tree Frog and we will gladly help promote your page to allow more people to join your follower family! The more people to keep you company during these times the better. We will help give you more followers while also helping you through the FOMO you are experiencing. It is a true win-win situation!