Do you suffer from FOMO?

Watching my Snapchat feed, the green monster inside me began to make an appearance as I saw, what seemed like, EVERYONE at a much coveted event. I tapped through short clips of customised cupcakes, gorgeous selfies and perfect poses. Damn it, why wasn’t I invited? Everyone looks like they are having SO much fun. All those smiles prove it right?

And then a thought crossed my mind. I just got back from a mini staycation with friends and honestly had such a great time! I got to spend my weekend with my two favourite boys in the world and give them my undivided attention, whilst watching Baby Z have so much fun splashing in the swimming pool. Those few memories we created were special beyond any thing else, more so than any event for sure. Even if I was invited, I would have politely declined anyway because we had this planned for a while and of course I was not going to cancel it. I thought Alhumdulillah and put away my phone.

So why did I suffer from FOMO? You know, Fear Of Missing Out?

I vaguely remember preparing a presentation on Living Vicariously whilst I was at college for Theory of Knowledge (Vital part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma).

“The term Vicarious means to have experienced in the imagination through the feelings or actions of another person.”

It was of great interest to me at the time and a topic of fascination especially after researching into it. Fast forward a few years and now with so much of my life on social media, this word (that sounds so lovely to pronounce by the way) comes back into mind. Vicarious. 

This blog and all my social media cover parenting and lifestyle. Lifestyle in Dubai mainly, and the latest and most Instagrammable locations therein. By sharing this information through words and largely photographs, I am giving the opportunity for others watching me to live a vicarious life. In the same way, I am living one too as I scroll through my Instagram feed and skip through Instastories and Snapchat stories of influencers with thousands upon thousands more followers. And that’s great right? Sharing information. Ideas. Inspiration.

But when does that cause you to start feeling sorry for yourself? Cause you to forget your own blessings. Cause you to blur your own idea of happiness.

fomo mummyonmymind

Where do you cross the fine line between living vicariously and suffering FOMO? Where do you cross the fine line between showcasing your life and oversharing?

I don’t have the answer I’m afraid. I am trying to figure it out, but maybe there isn’t one? Or actually there is a different one for all, depending on their personalities and comfort level. That sounds right, doesn’t it?

Personally, of course I share as much as I would like to, without wanting social media to engulf me. There are days or particular events when I want to record every second of everything around me. The are also days when social media coverage is a chore, and I decide not to record anything at all. I am also aware that I am very much blessed to see and experience many things that I have done, but I have worked hard to get here and more importantly, I record it with the intention of sharing the excitement I am going through. To give others the opportunity to live vicariously through my phone. My eyes.

Another factor of course is that sometimes what you see is not what you get. The majority of us share the highlights. The smiles. The moment of patch up after a huge tantrum or the fleeting happy moments just before a huge strop. The perfectly placed products with a background of the perfectly bloomed flowers. The perfect sunset and family hug, not the tears and hundred other photos in the camera roll that it took to get there. It makes us forget the realities of life.

I decide when to press capture and hit record. And I decide to do it when I am happy with the outcome, because that’s just human nature. I do not by any means deceive and always share the realities of parenting through my blog and captions. Trying to take a picture of a crying toddler is insanely stressful anyway, and I would rather be doing all I can to calm him down than ignore his plights.

Similarly, of all those videos you see on social media, those are only snippets of the good stuff. Even Big Brother (or Big Boss, if you’re Indian!), a 24 hours reality TV show, only shows you the highlights because watching every second of someones life would just be too darn boring. Youtube vlogs are the same in that the person only decides to vlog what is entertaining and generally positive content, and most of the time only 20-30 minutes of the entire day. Would anyone be interested in watching 24 hour vlogs? I think not.

To conclude, my point is that the next time you start suffering from FOMO as you skip through Snapchat or Insta stories, take a moment to put down you phone and count your blessings. You don’t have it as bad as the monster in your head makes out that you do. Live vicariously but do not let it engulf you and cause you to feel sorry for yourself. Watch with the aim of reaching there yourself one day, as that will be a moment of much more pride. This is a reminder to me first before anyone else.

But seriously though…Why wasn’t I invited?!?! 😛 Haha!

Also, if you aren’t already, let me just put in a shameless plug right here of all my social media where you can follow me: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat (Username: zenisanj) I guarantee relatable content and stunning views from my expat adventures with an over all positive and funny feel because it is what reflects ME.

So what are you waiting for? Live vicariously, but also live YOUR life.

16 Comments

  • Tina October 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Trust me Zeyna, I was thinking if I should write such a post 😂😂 sometimes even I feel left out but I’m glad some things happen for good and for a reason and I tell myself to move on. I realised there’s no point feeling bad but just to count our blessings and thank god for all the good times 😇😇 such a lovely post that I can relate to 😊

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. November 10, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Thanks Tina, good to know I am not alone in feeling this! and you’re right, there are always a million other things to be more grateful for! We just need to take time and appreciate it.

      Reply
  • Kellie October 30, 2016 at 3:36 pm

    Ha! Honestly.. you are better off living your own * real * life Z, but you know that, right?
    One ‘ must attend’ event becomes another within hours and how many have you been to that weren’t even worth the journey?
    Give me tour stay cation any day 😊😊😊😊

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. November 10, 2016 at 2:19 pm

      haha, yes I do, thanks Kellie! Oh and the disappointing events sure put things in perspective!

      Reply
  • Carla October 30, 2016 at 4:24 pm

    Hi Zeyna, I also get FOMO sometimes especially true when looking at other bloggers feed but same like you, I put down my phone, reflect at my own life and blessing to remind me how blessed I already am. And yes we live vicariously while living our own separates beautiful lives as well.

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. November 10, 2016 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks Carla for your reply. It’s good to know I am not along in having these thoughts, and you’re right, we must count our blessings for what we do have.

      Reply
  • Sheila|AB&Me October 30, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    A good piece right here!
    I have been missing out a lot lately but this is because of my own decision. The thing is, its either you do everything (go to each and every event, go to work — because, day job! — be a good parent) or focus all your energy to more important things.

    I had to let go of some events because I have to work and I have to spend time with my daughter. That’s what’s more important to me.

    or probably I’m just too lazy lately … who knows!! 😛

    Bottom line is that we shouldn’t feel left out. as they say, Too blessed to be stressed! 🙂

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. November 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm

      haha Too right Sheila! Yes, the juggle of trying to attend all events and be everywhere whilst also keeping the family happy is a laborious task, and at the end of the day, we all know what our priorities are.

      Reply
  • Tarana Khan October 30, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    This is so true! I guess this is another bane of living in today’s SM-obsessed world. We really can’t help feeling this way, even when we know it’s half-truth.

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. November 10, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      Yes, absolutely Tarana. If only we could all go back to the times when Internet didn’t exist!! ha!

      Reply
  • Moderate Mum October 31, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Blogging has really helped cure me of my FOMO because I understand now that what you present is real but it’s not your real life.

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. November 10, 2016 at 2:24 pm

      Oo that’s a very good way of looking at it, and I agree, now I definitely know more of what reality is like behind the scenes since blogging!

      Reply
  • Haneen November 3, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Zeyna such a great post and I believe everyone can relate to that. But some get affected by what they see in a very extreme way and others get effected in a very human way. I guess it’s our nature to wish “oh why I didn’t get this or why I wasn’t invited to that…” thoughts but it’s the way how to deal with such thoughts that count. To me, i’ve trained my mind long time ago to always be happy no matter what and always see the good things in a situation. I also trained myself to be grateful for what I have because even if it was little someone else may not have it. But still those thoughts pass by us at times and I think this is so human.

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. November 10, 2016 at 2:26 pm

      Thank you Haneen for your insight, and it is great to hear the mindset you have trained yourself to think, because it will overall ensure your happiness and sanity in a world so consumed by FOMO. You’re right, we are all human, and need to remember not to take it in a negative way.

      Reply
  • Rochelle December 2, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Thank you so much for this post! my spirits were quite low, and I had been feeling so down lately. And wanted to read something that could help uplift me and this has in a way. I really am blessed to have my twins, and I need to enjoy this time I have with them before they grow up and leave me lol. Thank you xxx

    Reply
    • Zeyna S. December 4, 2016 at 3:55 pm

      Thanks Rochelle for your comment, and I am so glad I could help your low spirits. You’re right, parenting is the biggest blessing we have, even though we often forget that ourselves. haha yes take advantage of the baby cuddles whilst you still can!

      Reply

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