I had FOMO (fear of missing out). Some would say I still suffer from the FOMO. I’d say I am a recovering from the FOMO.
I remember creating my Facebook profile during my senior year of high school. It was taking over Myspace and we’d all rush home, just to sit and stare at the screen. But that was how we communicated, through statuses, messages, and comments.
Looking back, I would spend hours sitting at my computer, waiting for my Facebook feed to update, hoping someone would post something interesting just so I could be the first person to “like” it. You were always cool if you got the first “like.”
If I had gone out and done something with friends that weekend, I’d be on Facebook for hours the next day, waiting for pictures to be posted so I could relive the fun we’d had.
When I upgraded to an iPhone and downloaded the Facebook app, it made it easy to check my profile wherever I was. It was so convenient I would check it in the middle of the night, sometimes more than once.
One day, seven years later, I had an epiphany: Why do I care what every one else is doing at every moment of the day? Why do I spend hours on end staring at a computer screen, waiting for it to update with useless information?
I began to realize how much of my life was consumed by social media.
Do you really care what so and so from high school is doing with their life? Do you honestly care so much about their lives that you’re willing to waste hours of your own life away as to not miss out on their exciting news?
When you use your phone to take pictures or videos of that awesome concert, are you really enjoying it? Are you missing out on the actual event because you’re too busy recording the show as to relive it later? Yes, it’s cool to be able to share media with friends (or “friends”) who couldn’t be there, but you aren’t there for them; you’re there for you and the experience.
It has been about four months since I’ve deleted my Facebook account. Sure, there are days where I get the urge to reactivate my profile to see whose gotten engaged, whose pregnant, and if that jerk from high school still had the body of a Greek God, or if karma had finally caught up to him and his beer belly was hard to conceal under his too-small wife beater tank. But I’ve resisted, and it feels great. I think this is what it feels like when a smoker finally quits: free of toxins.