Sigh! Social Media Leaves Users Feeling Like Their Lives Are Boring
The overkill of pictures posted on social networks showing friends whisking away to exotic countries or wild nights at a party has left many Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram users feeling excluded from the fun. Experts have given this newly discovered emotion a name: Fear of Missing Out, reports WPXI.com
The innate human need to feel accepted and included in social relationships contributes to the Fear of Missing Out (FoMo), reports a new study by researchers at the Universities of California, Rochester and Essex. As a result, many people often compare the void in their own lives to the seemingly enthralling and eventful social lives of others in the social media realm.
“If you see everyone posting these glamorous shots, you think you should have a similar life,” says Christine Whelan, an assistant sociology professor at the University of Pittsburg. “You have to realize that people are just posting the good stuff. Their lives aren’t perfect.”
The study found that the constant access to a plethora of images and posts as well as different opportunities for interaction has left internet users feeling like they’re “missing out” on the social interaction. Ultimately, their moods and overall life satisfaction declines, the study finds.
Whelan reminds us that most of these images are just a façade to paint a false, seemingly perfect picture of one’s life. “Their lives aren’t perfect,” she adds, “It’s not a representative version of reality, but it does play into your insecurity.”
Social media users, even in adulthood, experience a sense of anxiety about being deprived of life’s thrills. Shawn Graham, 40, wasn’t too happy to see a Facebook friend post photos of a concert he wanted to attend. Eager to show that he too can live it up at concerts, he said, “I decided I was going to go to a concert and take my own pictures.”
“Do I feel like I am missing out on things? Sometimes.” says Katie Biel, 32, “But I also kind of feel included because lots of people upload pictures and retweet things, so I still feel like I know what went on.”
“If you take everybody’s Facebook posts at face value, you’ll think everybody is incredibly witty, all jet-setting off to Timbuktu all the time,” Whelen adds. “Most people have pretty mundane lives.”
Experts insist that social media use only comes an issue if it affects people from truly living their lives.
What do you think? Have you ever been a victim of FoMo?