Social Silence

Out of sight, out of mind

More stories from Hailey Novak

Social Silence

It’s been one week since the start of my social media “cleanse” if you will and to sum it up in three words: FOMO is real.

When we were kids all we had to do was run outside our front door or hop on our bikes to see what our friends or the neighborhood kids were up to.

If they didn’t answer the doorbell we didn’t have to check their Snapchat to see who they were hanging out with and what they were doing- we’d try back later. But that’s definitely what it’s come to for many of us.

Before I go any further let me clear up that I’m not talking about those of you who casually or even rarely use social media here; this column pertains to my own (and many others like me) social media habits that involve frequent usage. I think it’s fair to say many social media users my age and especially younger find themselves in a similar situation.

So in my first week sans social media I felt for myself the very real effects of FOMO.

Google defines Fear Of Missing Out as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”

What I didn’t realize is that it can be brought on by lack of social media too.

It’s happened to me many times before when I decided to spend a Friday night in on the couch until I realized thanks to those pesky apps, everyone but me was out for the night. The next thing I knew I was tearing apart my freshly organized closet trying to find something to swap out my pajama shorts and faded t-shirt for.

The truth is that aside from the rare occasions when the multiple outfit changes and time logged with my curling iron (if you’ve seen my hair you understand) was worth it, I almost always wish I would have stayed in like I planned.

Even though we have this compulsive fear that we’re missing out, that feeling is dramatized by filters and moments captured out of context that make us yearn to be apart of them.

When you really look at it though, we’re not so much afraid of missing out on the fun as we are afraid of missing a chance to post about how much fun we’re having.

So after being asked “Did you see (insert name here)’s Snapch…oh wait never mind” an ungodly number of times this week I began to have some minor regrets about deleting all those little icons from my home screen and realized that FOMO had gotten the best of me.

Instead of trying to desperately peek over my roommates shoulders to get a glimpse of what I was missing out on, I figured out that in order to survive the semester and FOMO I needed to embrace, “out of sight, out of mind”.

Since then I no longer care what I’m missing out on while I’m stuck at work or watching Grey’s Anatomy in my bed because I’m not taunted by any of it.

Shockingly, not seeing what everyone else is doing all the time hasn’t negatively impacted my life so far.

Who would’ve thought.