Sitting in a crowded room, I look around to see if something interesting is happening. Nothing holds my attention, so I look at my phone to see if I am missing out on another event or make tomorrow’s plans. This little device is a gateway to the world, yet it is the most distracting thing from the present moment.

I am experiencing FOMO. The Fear of Missing Out. A term that has gained traction in recent years. A word commonly associated with my generation: Millennials. It’s easy to feel as though you are missing out when someone else’s lifestyle is just one click, tap, or like a way.

The Fyre Festival documentaries (watch on Hulu and Netflix) illustrate FOMO in a grand scale and explain the larger implications of chasing after the idea of an insta-perfect life. If you have not watched these documentaries yet, I suggest you stop reading this and go watch them, now!

The idea we are missing out on something has been around forever. However, it is magnified by the presence of social media. We see beautiful images of someone’s vacation, dinner, or even a perfectly organized desk set up. What we don’t see is the arguments on the beach, how the food may have tasted bad, or how unproductive someone actually is at a perfectly organized desk.

How do we combat FOMO and stay in the moment? Here are a few tips as recommended by the American Psychological Association:

Put your phone down – Research shows our phones could cause us sleep issues such as waking up from an alert and lack of sleep from using the device while falling asleep. Take time to put your phone down and focus on a night of restful sleep.

Take a break from social media – Sometimes seeing everyone’s achievements in your news feed can be overwhelming if you feel stuck. Take time for yourself by taking a break from social media. It will help you gain perspective in your own life. Find a new hobby or re-engage in an old hobby. You never know what could happen if you stop the endless scroll!

Form real-life connections and activities – While you are taking a break from social media, you can find a new activity and make some new connections IRL. This type of networking could lead to something great!

Remember to stay present in the moment and keep from wishing you were somewhere else. This type of thinking has helped me enjoy more moments. I hope it helps you too!

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