As a 30 year old, I see a few things regularly whenever I browse social media: friends becoming doctors (I took a pre-med degree in college), buying cars and houses, and getting married and/or having kids. If you go on my Facebook wall, you’ll find the following: memes, pictures of my travels and what I’m eating, and recommendations for the best moisturizer. While they’re checking out homes and schools for their children, I’m checking out items on Lazada.
I know I’m not alone in this. I have friends who feel like they’re not doing enough and are being left behind by their more successful classmates. This led to the rise of FOMO, or the fear of missing out.
Part of the problem is social media. We only post the good things in our lives that our contacts and followers think that that’s the only thing going on with us. They don’t see the struggles we go through, our anxieties, and our worries. We only show the best parts so the people who see our feed think we’re living these perfect lives.
As someone whose career revolves around social media, this realization that we’re all just putting on a front helped me understand that these moments we put on social media are just a small fraction of our lives. I don’t post about days when I’m at home and I haven’t showered the whole day. I don’t share my breakdowns when I’m sitting in front of my laptop feeling helpless and confused. I’m sure even those whose lives I envy have those moments, too.
At the same time, it’s also possible that there are those who are jealous of the life I’m living. Sure, I may not be a doctor or I may not have my own family but I have a flexible schedule, a good-paying job, and I get to travel. The measure of success has changed through the years, and most importantly, the only measure of success that matters is the one that you hold yourself. It’s possible that the people you’re envious of are jealous of what you have.
There’s really no point competing with other people because we have our own goals and dreams. Thinking about it, do I really want to be a doctor? Do I want a kid? The answer is no. The life I have now is the life I’ve always dreamed of: freedom, beauty, art, and lots of fun.
I’m not doing the same thing as my college classmates but in my own way, I am successful. The internet even has a word for it: JOMO, or the joy of missing out.
Screw society’s expectations. There’s more joy in being grateful for the things you have. Bloom where you’re planted, sis.
What do you think? Share your thoughts below!