Melly's Musings: FOMO and Reducing Social Media Time

I was having a chat with a friend about social media and how we're both making an effort to cut back a little. In this post, I'll be sharing what I'm doing to reduce my screen time.

I'm not the first to write a post about reducing my time on social media and I certainly won't be last. One of my main reasons for cutting back a little is the overwhelming FOMO that it causes. I've always had to deal with FOMO. I've never liked to go to bed early, just in case I miss something - it's been a problem for most of my life. I've always found it difficult to turn down invitations too. I wonder how many times I've said 'yes' to something just because I was afraid that something super exciting would happen without me. 

During my 20's, my social circles have changed. In fact, it's become less of a circle and more like tiny pods here and there. Gone are my days of regularly hanging out in a big group. It's odd really because I was convinced that those times would last forever. I think I have a healthy perspective on relationships in life and I take my friendships seriously. It's taken me a really long time to get over being not invited to places and events that would at one time have been a no-brainer for me to be attending. And pulling back on some of my social media has been a big part of moving on. Now that a little time has passed, it's given me the space to really appreciate who and what I do have and I realise how insanely blessed I am with my friends and family.

About 18 months ago, I decided that I was going to stay off Facebook and Instagram as much as possible from Friday evening until Sunday evening. By that point, I'd spent too many Saturday afternoons seeing people who I was once close to, having fun without me. The final straw came when I saw a baby shower that I hadn't been invited to. I decided that was the last time I cried over an Instagram post. 

It wasn't even just being left out of the occasional event that was difficult - it was tough growing apart from people too. I don't doubt that they may have looked at my social media and thought the same but it still stung. On top of that, we all fall victim to comparison sometimes. Staying in your lane is easier said than done when other people appear to completely have their lives together but you ate sweets for breakfast and it's 2pm but you're not even dressed yet. 

Anyway, I've decided that it's going to benefit me to consume a lot less of the outside world because it makes me feel good. So here's how I've been working on making my social media a happier place for me. 

1. 'No phone before 9' - I've managed three consecutive days so far but I'm trying to start the first 1-2 hours of my day without my phone. Instead, I'm visualising, journaling and doing gentle stretches. It's actually quite nice, now the light mornings are here for a few months. 

2. Abandoning my phone for a few hours - on a Saturday and Sunday, if I'm just in the house, I've started to leave my phone in another room and ignore it for a bit, whilst I read a magazine or book. 

3. Less social media at the weekend - as I mentioned above, I've tried not to consume as much on Instagram and Facebook, Friday to Saturday. 

4. Unfollowing and muting - this one is slightly different. I've unfollowed a couple of accounts that I just have no interest in or whose content makes me feel bad. That includes people who have openly mocked my social to my face. If unfollowing feels a little drastic, did you know that you can mute people's stories, so that they don't appear across the top of your feed? You didn't know? You're welcome. 

5. Posting what I want - for the longest time, my confidence was knocked because of what outside voices said about what I shared. The moment I chose to shake that off, the better I felt. 

Social media plays a big part in my work and interests, so it's good to take a break sometimes. And guess what? The world didn't crumble. I've actually been enjoying myself. I see a lot of people say things like 'I can really be in the moment when things aren't on social media.' I agree with that to some degree but for me, it's less about me being in the moment and rather just choosing not to constantly consume everyone else's moments. 

Mental health is important and it's vital that we take care of it. Reducing my social media time has helped me enormously. I don't think that I'd ever delete everything and ghost but changing my activity has definitely helped.

What do you think? Have you done anything similar to what I mentioned here? Do you ever struggle with social media-induced FOMO? Let me know in the comments. 

Thank you so much for stopping by! 



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