How To Deal With FOMO: Your Mental Health As A Social Media Marketer
Here at Vult Lab, we are passionate about social media. You know this! But we also care about every social media user’s mental health.
But, sometimes you have to admit it: you know it’s very easy to scroll through Instagram and Pinterest, imagining how cool your life would be, because other people’s lives are really cool.
There is an amazing balance you have to achieve when working in social media to make sure you don’t fall victim to the dark side of it. Just because we are in the industry doesn’t mean we can ignore the not-so-good parts. We only want to spread the positive magic this side of the internet has to offer, so we want to demonstrate some practical ways to shift your mindset and cope with dealing with any FOMO heading in your direction!
This will make a big difference with your social media usage as a personal user and as a marketer.
But wait… What is FOMO?
According to the Oxford Dictionary, this is what we are dealing with: “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”
Additionally from Wikipedia, FOMO is "‘a pervasive apprehension that others might be having rewarding experiences from which one is absent’. This social anxiety is characterized by ‘a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing.’"
So, what actions should we take to make sure we don’t feel envious, apprehensive, anxious, or anything negative from simply viewing what other people post? Follow these steps in order and you’ll go from experiencing FOMO to practicing gratitude!
Realize: Facebook doesn’t give you inner happiness.
Yeah, you heard us. There are so many reasons we are grateful for what social media has to offer us, and we here at Vult Lab strive every day to highlight what good it does for the world. But, creating this distinction is so important and necessary for positive social media usage:
Social media isn’t inherently bad, but allowing it to be your only source of happiness can make it so. Put your happiness out into the world instead of getting it from your feed!
Then: shift your attention.
As Nick Hobson said regarding this subject, it’s easier said than done.
FOMO has exploded into such a phenomenon, there have been professional studies about it. One of the most practical (and simultaneously difficult) practices is to focus on the gains you experience in the present as opposed to potential loss.
Practice mindfulness. What is going on today that is making you feel happy, productive, or accomplished? Focus on your life in a reflective way which promotes those desperately sought after positive vibes.
Which leads into our next coping tip!
Think: what is on your own “Highlight Reel”?
This all boils down to one word: gratitude.
Aarti Gupta studies anxiety and CBT for a living and has realized how much FOMO interacts with our population in the modern age. She suggests first taking a step back and being more self-aware: recognize what you see on social media as a “highlight reel”.
Everyone posts the best of the best on their social medias (only after making everything extra extra pretty with photo editing apps), whether it is ecstatic photos at the latest music festival or drinking expensive champagne on your beach-side balcony, one must realize this isn’t their every day. This is only a highlight.
You have your own highlights to be appreciative for—remember how happy it made you feel to experience that perfect summer day taking a hike by the lake with your friends. Or when you finally redecorated the den in your home to obtain that perfect aesthetic.
Taking a step back and understanding everyone has highlights will make scrolling through your feeds a more pleasant experience. With this shift, instead of being envious, you can be appreciative of your own wonderful experiences and happy for your friends who are experiencing wonder as well.
In summation: practice gratitude, and you’ll be peachy keen.
Ultimately, take care of yourself and your news feeds to make sure you are getting the best experience possible! Curate them. Focus on the positive, and this will reflect in your social media practices, especially for social media marketers and influencers!
Nobody wants to feel the need to delete their Instagram just because it’s make them feel bad every time they open up the app; there is a lot the social internet has to offer as far as beauty, creativity, and inspiration. Make sure it stays that way!