How to recognize missed opportunity syndrome
Does it happen that you look at the photos of your friends on Facebook or some bloggers on Instagram and think: “They have such a wonderful life, they travel so much, earn so much, are so beautiful, but I can't, I have such a life will never"? Do you catch yourself on phrases like "Everybody but me"? If you are familiar with this, then you are faced with a common modern syndrome * - missed opportunities (FOMO - fear of missing out).
Here are its main features:
- people with this syndrome spend a lot of time on social networks, monitoring how others live;
- many feel that friends are doing something cool "without them";
- quite a few people are tormented by self-accusations “Why can't I do this?”;
- Sufferers of this syndrome often have the feeling that if they just leave the computer or put down the phone, they will miss something important and significant.
© annie spratt / unsplash
The syndrome began to be studied only in 2013, although in fact it is based on a person's need to be aware of things or on an irresistible sense of envy - experiences inherent in people for a long time. According to some estimates, the syndrome is found in 56% of people, and it is already more and more evident in men.
What are the consequences of missed opportunity syndrome?
Opportunity Syndrome increases depression and anxiety and builds up dependence on social media, which, in turn, can negatively affect work, school and relationships with loved ones.
It is worth worrying a lot when the desire to check social networks becomes intrusive, if you notice (or many people tell you about it) that you, while talking with people, are simultaneously sitting on Facebook or Instagram.
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How to cope with missed opportunity syndrome
1. Recognize the syndrome. In this case, it can be even more difficult than with the impostor syndrome (inability to appropriate one's achievements to one's own qualities), since technology has already penetrated into our lives so much that it is not always easy to notice any alarming signals.
2. Set yourself a time limit for using social networks (the optimal maximum is 30 minutes a day). For this, there are corresponding applications that help control the time of use. If you find yourself unable to comply with the restrictions, then it is better to remove Facebook and Instagram from your phone completely, at least for a while. Be aware of the unpleasant consequences of the syndrome.
3. Arrange for yourself a "digital detox", for example on weekends: do not use the Internet, social networks, instant messengers, but rather a smartphone in general.
4. Remind yourself: what you see on social networks with friends and even more so with bloggers is only a part of their life, and by the law of the genre it is the best part. And sometimes even heavily embellished. Try to compare yourself less with others, each person has his own life, you should not live like others, and you do not have to do everything.
5. Take up meditation. Regular meditation practice can help reduce stress, anxiety, depression and focus on the essentials.
Most importantly, if you've noticed signs of missed opportunity syndrome in yourself, you are not alone. This is a very common phenomenon in the modern world. And if you feel that the syndrome reduces the quality of your life, interferes with your career and full-fledged relationships with others, it may make sense to start working with a specialist.
* The syndrome is not a sign of mental disorders and is not included in the ICD-10 and DSM-5 classifications of mental illness, which means it should be considered within the framework of a normally functioning psyche.>