Social media has always reinforced the fear of missing out on fun and exciting experiences but before, what you did with FOMO was your own choice. Now, you might not even have the option to partake in the activities others are involved in because precautionary measures are still in place (and for good reason, to keep people safe). Worse even, is that you might be doing your best to follow guidelines while seeing others break them on TikTok, why should you be excluded when you are doing the right thing? The disparity between what you want to do, what you are allowed to do, what you should do and what others are doing can cause anxiety and frustration.
A difficult part of all this is that you're probably relying, to some degree, on social media to feel connected to your "people" and to your larger community. So you're simultaneously getting the benefits of connection (that may be really hard to get elsewhere at the moment) while also feeling the burn of FOMO. If you are having a hard time finding the balance in your own social media use, here are some tips:
Take a brief vacation from social media and connect with people in a more meaningful way than liking their posts- schedule a facetime with a friend, host a virtual game night or happy hour.
Text a friend and plan an outdoor get together, or go by yourself. Having adventures of your own will help ease those restless and lonely feelings, making you feel proactive about your life.
You might not have control over the outside world or what other people do in it- but you have control over your own actions and mindset. Start a list of things that you enjoy and use it as a to-do list for when you start to feel like you are missing out or are just feeling down. These activities don’t have to be limited to solo or indoor activities- look for events in your community that adhere to health guidelines (If you are in Thunder Bay, the Walleye is a great way to find out things going on in the area!)
Remember that social media is often a highlight reel: You post the day you go for a hike with the fall foliage, not the day you spent on the couch rewatching The Office for the third time since March. But if we all started posting more of our reality- the loneliness you might feel right now, how you feel overwhelmed by online school, or the take out boxes because you can’t get motivated to cook for one- we could foster understanding and actual connectedness because whether you post it or not, we are all experiencing it.