#FAUXMO - A Summer Guide to Being Happy Exactly Where You Are

“ #FAUXMO - The fear of missing out on something you’re seeing online, which in reality is a very curated version of the actual event.”

We’ve all been there. You’re scrolling through Instagram, seeing so and so on a tropical trip, someone else on an epic hike, there’s a super slick impromptu music session going on down the road yada yada yada. And here you are (or I am) working your butt off or flaked out on the couch, at the end of the day, too exhausted to do much besides said scrolling through phone. Maybe its just me, but I get the feeling its not. The feeling of less - I’m less fun, I’m less well off or I have less time. 

Its an odd one, but I think the good weather brings it more to the forefront of our minds (and our social media feeds) as everyone is posting every second of these fabulous sunny days. But it can be so easy to forget that these platforms are highly curated. Did you also see that so and so was up all night scalded with the sunburn/bathroom-ridden with food poisoning? Did we see the sand in the sandwiches, the wetsuit rash or the arguments about who should drive? I am by no means living in a den of zen calm, placidly watching the world go by, but I am determined (god damn it!) to enjoy my sunny summer and to try to let go of both the #FOMO and the #fauxmo

So here’s my 7 step guide on how I’m planning  to do this.

  1. Unfollow - Yep its that simple. I cant remember where I heard it, but someone recently said (maybe a podcast?) that if you get anything other then a positive emotion when you see someones feed (e.g. jealousy, resentment, distain or the “person you love to hate”) you should unfollow them, you negative emotion hurts only you. Examples might be people who work in you field but who you perceive as being more successful (the stress of “I should be where they are”), family or friends who always complain online or megaglam instagrammers with perfectly polished feeds (remember for them it is business, not a personal page!). So. Just. Unfollow. Then enjoy seeing content that lifts you up - my faves - stuff about going plastic free, stuff about art made of random things, food things that arent too curated, stuff about ethical fashion - all equal warm fuzzy feelings.

  2. Mute - so maybe you’ve a couple of group chats going, but youre really busy with work this week. So while you’re stuck indoors you’re constantly being bombared with photos of people drinking pints in the sunshine. So mute them for 8h. It will be grand I promise, your social life wont go up in smoke. You might even get some work done (and not resent it).

  3. Switch Off - as in post notifications. I’m (slightly) embarrassed to say I actually didn’t know how to do this until last month (a good friend showed me how during a discussion how to switch off from work). When you’re not constantly being bombared by facebook, instagram and whatsapp groups you dont have to check in until YOU want to. The pleasant quite that this brings in the morning is amazing.

  4. Actually Switch Off - yeah good luck you might say. Turn off my phone? But what if I want to take pictures? I haven’t graduated to this level yet either. But baby steps can include; putting your phone on airplane mode at night and sometimes setting your phone to the “meeting” or “night” setting .i.e. do not disturb except for phone calls.

  5. Talk About It - feeling left out? Confused about how everyone else seems to have so much time off? Pissed off that your BBQ/day off/beach day doesnt feel as fabulous as the ones you see online? Actually talk about it! I’ve had great chats recently with a bunch of different friends about how social media can feel like you’re connected to so many people, but not really connecting with any of them. Chats lads. But even better chats with tea!

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6. Plan Something and Dont Post About It. Foreign concept, but worth a go!

 Shoes off no digital footprint, just actual ones in the sand.

Shoes off no digital footprint, just actual ones in the sand.

 

7. Solo Day - Kind of goes back to point 5. I’ve had days where I’m not working and I go to x activity/night out for fear of FOMO but just end up feeling lonelier in the group then I would if I’d gone off by myself. Its ok to be on your own. Its also very ok to want to be on your own sometimes. If (like moi) you work with lots of people sometimes or do anything “with the public” it can be really good to have a break from people. You recharge your batteries, get to do things with some quite (I love surfing, running, hiking and baking) and then theres really obvious ones too, like cracking into a really good book. I’m currently thinking up a bit of solo camping adventuring and am actually excited at the thought of spending some time with just myself for company to relax, breath, think and just be!

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Which of these steps do you think you'll try? Let me know how you're getting on over on insta I'm  @saltwaterstories.me or use the hashtag #fauxmo

Finn Ni Fhaolain