I naturally awoke at 2.30 am on Saturday morning, abuzz and awake. It was a day for my favorite river.
A magical time for me is the two-hour drive in the pitch-black morning. I listen to podcasts. It is just the car and I, on a nearly-empty road for as far as I can see. And, a voice coming through the speakers.
One podcast from Saturday was NPR Hidden Brain’s “Schadenfacebook.” It was about FOMO, or, the “fear of missing out.” Here it is:
Basically, the research shows that social media makes you feel worse. The podcast brilliantly interviewed a number of people. First, a woman who posted amazingly beautiful photos of herself and her husband on Facebook. No one knew that the couple was miserable and about to divorce. And, she found out later that many of her friends who also were posting beautiful photos were also separated or divorced.
So, the curation on Facebook can give the false impression that everyone’s life is perfect. You also may wonder why yours is not. People tend to post about beautiful sunsets, smiling kids, delicious food. They don’t post about the recent marital spat, their frustrations, their struggles with weight/alcohol/sadness.
Second, there’s a researcher who documented how social media makes you less able to live in the moment. You may be on a beautiful vacation, but, when you see photos of other people’s beautiful vacations, you wonder if those spots are better than yours. So, rather than fully enjoying where you are, you ruminate and are “elsewhere.”
As for me, I’ve started to cut down on my Twitter followers. Much of it is still good stuff, but I find that certain posts just make me feel distracted. So, if I no longer follow you, I hope you’re not feeling insulted. You’re doing cool stuff, and I just have a FOMO….