Dear Bianca: How to avoid FOMO


Photo by Edvard Munch

Anxiety, 1884 Oil on canvas

We are very happy to announce our new regular advice column, “Dear Bianca.”

Please submit questions they would like us to address to this anonymous Google Form. While we are doing our best to provide sound advice, your best resources will often be your own friends, family, and UNIS’s counselors and psychologist. We hope you enjoy the column!
— The UNISVerse Staff

Dear Bianca,

How can I avoid FOMO (fear of missing out)?


Dear Reader,

I completely understand that it’s not easy to see people you’re close to having a good time without you. However, instead of focusing on what you’re losing by not being at whatever social event you can’t attend, try looking at the bright side. By staying at home you gain a day to recharge, practice some self-care, and maybe even get work done!

Being able to enjoy spending time alone is an admirable skill, so you could always try doing an activity that you usually do with a friend, but by yourself instead. I know it may be hard to believe that doing a fun activity alone is the cure to the loneliness one may feel because of FOMO, but you will probably end up having a better time than you think. Eventually, spending some time everyday without your friends can be super beneficial to your self-esteem, because you’ll realize that you don’t always need to be hanging out with a group of people in order to enjoy yourself.

If you’re still struggling with FOMO after attempting to follow my advice, that’s okay too. The only suggestion that I stress is that you avoid social media. Seeing any posts your friends may share of them hanging out tends to exacerbate the fear of missing out. But keep in mind that whatever video or picture you’re seeing of your friends hanging out is only showcasing a small portion of their time together. There’s a very high chance that the picture was orchestrated to look like they’re having the best time possible since most people only post the highlights of an event that will impress their followers. These photos don’t tell the full story, as any social event has lesser moments like when everyone is on their phone after the conversations die down. I’d recommend temporarily deleting your social media apps or avoiding any platforms that may trigger FOMO. Alternatively, if you don’t feel like deleting your social media altogether, try muting your friends’ posts or stories (only temporarily) so you won’t be tempted to compare your situation to theirs.

Comparison is the thief of joy and will only make matters worse. Focus on yourself and use the opportunity to do the things that you like. You’re going to have countless other opportunities to go out with your friends, I promise. Distance makes the heart grow fonder anyways; you may find that your friends miss your absence just as much as you miss theirs.

– Bianca


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