There’s no such thing as missing out

A+line+forms+for+the+ATM+on+Daniel+St.+during+Unofficial.

Brian Bauer

A line forms for the ATM on Daniel St. during Unofficial.

By Tyler Panlilio , Columnist

Unofficial weekend is over, and most students either went out and partied or stayed in and caught up on homework.

If you’re part of the latter, there might be a pang of regret for prioritizing schoolwork instead of socializing during the biggest party weekend of the school year. Checking Facebook the next day probably didn’t help the feeling either; seeing pictures of your friends having fun while you studied five hours for that midterm on Monday can be pretty demoralizing.

Fear of missing out can apply to essentially everything; from being single to studying abroad, this anxiety gets the better of everyone. And with almost every millennial having a Facebook, Instagram or Twitter (or all three), this generation seems to be affected the most by it.

Social media often enables this fear for a lot of college students, especially here at the University. While it’s great to keep in touch with friends through Facebook, seeing how turnt they get every weekend on their Snapchat stories only contributes to the problem.

A 2014 study conducted by the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology found a link between time spent on Facebook and developing depressive symptoms for men and women.

LINKhttp://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/jscp.2014.33.8.701

But there’s some consolation in this. People have to remember that their friends get to pick what they upload to their social highlight reels. Social media isn’t the full story of everyone’s lives; it’s only the best parts of it.

A similar study in 2013 by MyLife.com concluded that 56 percent of social media users suffer from a fear of missing out.

LINKhttp://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-mylifecom-survey-reveals-more-social-networks-and-message-services-more-problems-users-are-increasingly-overwhelmed-overloaded-214741101.html

This isn’t suggesting that social media is evil and that everyone should drop from the face of the Earth. But maybe people should tone down the social media usage and focus more on themselves.

And for college students, most of the highlight reels we see on social media are of social events: parties, RSOs, vacations and studying abroad — the list goes on.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being involved in any or all of these. But if you go to social events to try to validate your decisions or your self-image, then maybe stop and think for a bit.

Students shouldn’t worry about what everyone else is doing and should instead make decisions based on what they actually want. It’s perfectly fine if you decide to grind out on an essay Friday night instead of going to that party, and it’s also okay if you decide that you want to go out instead. The key here is moderation.

It’s a bit cliché, but in the grand scheme of things, life is less worrisome for those who don’t dwell on the past. What has happened is essentially irrelevant, and the only real thing you can do is focus on the now.

And maybe that starts with choosing to not worry about who is posting what on social media. Maybe it starts with realizing that you’d rather not go to some sweaty frat party Friday and instead have an evening to yourself.
Because sometimes, it’s nice to take a moment and stop to smell the roses.

Tyler is a freshman in Media. 

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