Scrolling into Depression
Once upon a time, Facebook was the domain primarily of college students and other young people. This is no longer the case. Today, people of all ages use Facebook to keep up with distant family and friends, to post their own life events, and to schedule happenings ranging from barbeques to social protests.
However, Facebook and other social media outlets have a darker side. Vicarious observation of other people’s lives can lead to depression and “FOMO”––fear of missing out on the fun others are having.
FOMO and Depression
Many social-media users who experience FOMO share the personality trait of neuroticism. Neurosis often leads to compulsively checking their “friends’” posts versus sharing their own. This leads to comparisons with their own circumstances, which almost never stack up.
Appearances Can Be Deceiving
People caught up in envy and FOMO concerning other people’s posts should remember that things are not always what they appear to be. Many social-media posts are crafted to portray the most positive impression. Some are highly exaggerated, with little relationship to reality. If the truth were to be revealed, many people suffering from FOMO would be shocked to learn that the people they envy so much experience many of the same challenges they do, and sometimes even worse situations.
Nonetheless, it is far too easy to become caught up in a cycle of obsessively checking social-media platforms and the resulting feelings of depression and FOMO. The following tips can help to break the cycle of FOMO and lead to a healthier mental outlook:
- Look back on your own photos and keepsakes related to enjoyable past events
- Reflect on happy memories
- Create events to look forward to
- Extend invitations for future events
The key for individuals suffering from FOMO is to remind themselves that they also have positive aspects of their lives. In fact, others might actually be envious of THEM.
For more information about dealing with FOMO and depression, give us a call today.