The Fear of Missing Out

Image via The Hamster Factor's Flickr photostream

Sometimes great things happen. House parties turn out to be far more awesome that you’d hoped they’d be, that cabaret show ends up being an absolute belter, and a few quiet drinks with friends somehow becomes the best night out you’ve had in a very long time. Years ago, this stuff happened and then you’d tell your mates over drinks the following week whilst wearing your excited face, so they’d be happy for you. These days, you live tweet what an awesome time you’re having and upload the photos to Facebook the instant you get home, which leaves your friends thinking… I wish I’d been there.

Fear of missing out is a very real thing and it’s been made a whole lot worse by social media. Much as you want your friends to be having fun, hearing about it all the time just makes you wonder if you should have been there. Maybe I should have gone to that party? Why wasn’t I invited? Why did I leave before it got good? All of these feelings crop up and then it starts making you feel a teeny bit paranoid about the social life of pretty much everyone else you know.

The reality of it is that no one is having quite as much fun as they appear to be. Well, not all the time anyway. People tell you about the parts of a party that were really awesome, but they won’t tell you about the two hours that they spent talking to that one really dull person who didn’t take the hint. The photos will show that everyone looked amazing and was having a great time but, chances are, they won’t have uploaded all the crappy shots where everyone looked drunk and half asleep. It’s so easy, when you’re confronted with every tiny detail of your friends’ social lives via Twitter and Facebook, to assume that absolutely everyone is having more fun than you. However, assume nothing. People will say pretty much anything to look cool.

Main image via The Hamster Factor‘s Flickr photostream. Other image by lipsticklori.