Fear of Missing Out

During my walk with The Tobez this morning, I began to think about random things like I normally do. But today was the first day back to school and my thoughts were school-related. It also helped that my dream nightmare from last night was school-related. (I had a dream I was running late for school and I forgot my homework)

So during this walk, I started thinking about high school. I wondered what life would have been like if I went to a different school, and what would have happened if I switched high schools half way through. When I was in middle school, I was deciding between two high schools: the enhanced program or a business and technology program.

I chose the enhanced high school, mostly because my brother went to that school and I was in the middle school version of the business and technology program (because of my brother too) and I didn’t want to repeat the program again. It has crossed my mind multiple times throughout my life: what if I went to the business and tech program instead? I know I would have been drastically different. I changed completely as a person when I went to the enhanced program because I almost knew no one at that school. And I do think that you do change based on who you surround yourself with. They can lift you up or drag you down. But anyways, I wondered how I would have felt at the enhanced school if I went to the business and tech program for grades 9 and 10 and then switched. And in this hypothetical scenario, how I would have felt knowing all my friends would be continuing on without me after I switched schools in the middle.

This led me to start to think about my entire time in school. I moved schools quite a bit because of various circumstances and I had to start fresh at a new school quite a few times. I would miss my friends from my old school and I had to make new friends with all these new faces. But what I realized during my walk today is that the FOMO (fear of missing out) is much harder on me right now than it was in the past.

The difference? Social media.

Growing up when I was a wee little lass, I would only see my friends at school. I didn’t call my friends very often and emailing my friends simply wasn’t a thing until maybe grade 4. Even then, I wouldn’t see pictures because no one had a digital camera until grade 6, social media didn’t exist for me until grade 8, and most of my social life happened at school.

But I noticed when I was in first year of university, seeing all the pictures of my other friends having a great time back in high school or at their respective universities, the FOMO was intense. Even right now on social media I see all my Don friends posting pictures with their students and of O-Week, and again, the FOMO is hitting me hard!! I started to think about my time as a child. At a new school, simply missing my friends. I didn’t have social media to prolong any feelings any longer than it should have. I simply didn’t have a constant reminder of all the fun things they’re doing without me. Back then, I lived in the moment way more. Perhaps that’s why I feel so much more nostalgic of the past… because it was a simpler time without social media making me feel some sort of way.

Maybe there’s something to learn here from a passing thought during my walk with my dog. Social media is powerful. Your feelings are more powerful, though. You only give power to something if you let it. By simply not knowing of all the things that my friends were doing every single day without me, made living in the moment much easier. It made me more productive and less upset.

So here’s my challenge… to myself and whoever stumbles upon this post. I challenge you to not give power to any negative feelings or emotions. To this day, I still struggle with letting things go and FOMO. And it probably all started because of letting social media dictate my feelings as a young person that snowballed into how I feel now. I challenge myself not to compare myself and my experiences to anyone anymore. And writing this down is quite liberating. Be grateful for the experiences you had and always strive to make new, positive, and lasting moments.

 

Until the next post,

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(Hehe, like the new signature? I’m trying something new!)

 

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