By Michele Anderson
Fear Of Missing Out seems to be a true phobia in our world today. With the use of technology and social media which allow us to share our feelings and experiences in real time, the ability to feel connected has never been easier. But do these broadcasted experiences truly fulfill our need for social connection?
As social animals, humans are wired to enjoy the company of others and have a yearning for acceptance within society. We want to be liked by others and to be seen in a positive way. To do this in today’s world we often turn to social media which gives us the ability to manipulate how others to portray us. With the rise of the world-wide-web and social media, we suddenly have this power to edit our lives in ways that were previously impossible.
This is where the issue of #IRL comes to surface. Seeing that person you’ve chatted confidently with over Tinder in real life suddenly becomes incredibly awkward. Your confidence may waver because you cannot edit your real life conversations nor your appearance like you can via social media. Chances are the two of you will pretend like you don’t even know each other. This goes to show that while we may claim to be connected to hundreds, if not thousands of people, perhaps these interactions are not genuinely fulfilling our need for connection.
Along with substituting real life relationships with ones that are questionably less personal through social media, we may also be sacrificing our ability to be content in the times we are alone. This is the theory that we are no longer able to be alone because we automatically feel lonely, or in other words, “fear of missing out.” Social media and new technology lets us constantly interact with others and rarely are we forced to be truly disconnected for even a minute.
Do you think that social media is creating a society that is incapable of being alone?