Monday, March 3, 2014

The Facebook Trap, FOMO, and All That Jazz

You know sometimes, when you get onto Facebook after a long, hard day at work, and suddenly it seems like your wall (or whatever the heck it's called) has exploded with announcements of marriages, pregnancies, new houses, babies, exotic vacations, and promotions? And then you think to yourself, 'Why am I so BEHIND everybody?'

You know the feeling, right?

I've been thinking a lot about this lately---I think experts have recently started dubbing the phenomenon FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), which is basically what everyone and their dog feels like whenever we log onto the latest social media feed.

To make myself feel better, I actually started crunching some numbers lately to assure myself that EVERYONE was NOT, in fact, "beating" us in the competition of life (cuz that's like, a thing, apparently).

- I currently have 735 friends on Facebook
-I personally know three people that just had babies (my cousin had twins), and I know of at least 15 more that are pregnant
-I also personally know three people that have not had ANY babies recently, and I know at least 15 more who are most definitely NOT pregnant (so what if I'm counting some boys in there too?)
-2 of my Facebook friends just bought gorgeous new homes
-At least 10 of my old friends from high school (who I've grown up with) are renting apartments or townhouses or still live at home with parents
-After a quick scan of the wall, four of the status updates involve some terribly romantic act by a significant other (whether it be an engagement, an anniversary surprise, flowers, or a really great gift)
-I know for a fact that my husband just helped me with dinner, got my lunch packed away and ready for tomorrow, and let me put in She's The Man instead of his choice (Nacho Libre)---all in the last ten minutes
-Some of my social contacts recently went on exotic, tropical locations that involved cruises, swimming, warm locations, and/or beaches
-At least as many social contacts were complaining about the local weather (which has given us a lot of rain)

Basically, my point is that I've got to put it all in perspective---sometimes it seems that "everybody" is already achieving those milestones that we hope to achieve one day ourselves (babies, our own home, a cruise to the Caribbean), but the truth is that most people's days look just like ours, and that when we ourselves do get those "big" moments for ourselves, we can be rest assured that we too will get plenty of "likes" and probably send other people into their own, "Wo is me" frenzy about how their life isn't going as planned.

Social media is so weird.

For the record, the most exciting thing that's happened in our life lately (because I definitely do NOT count working 65 hours last week as exciting) was that we tried out a new fruit, which is the purpose behind these random photos. We went to the store last weekend together, I bribed Matt to come in with me instead of letting him wait in the car, and he promptly decided to add the spiky melon you see above to our grocery cart (with its hefty $4 price tag and all, which about made me croak since it was about the size of the palm of my hand).

We took it home, scooped some out, and decided that it tasted like a diluted gelatin whose aftertaste lingered to the roof of our mouths like something powdery.

We were less than impressed.

And there you go----the truth behind our exciting lives.

I bet you all want to go moan to your fellow housemates that you don't try enough new fruit now, don't cha?


  1. Ha ha I have bought that very fruit and had the same reaction. Isn't it a star fruit? Well my friend I could have written this exact thing. Sam and I feel the same way most nights. Sometimes you guys are the people we envy. So just keep that in mind my friend.

  2. We just tried Dragon fruit the other day! It was also less exciting, like a bland kiwi. Social Media is strange but seriously I feel like it is about as social as I get most of the time. Some day I'll get out of the house again. :)

  3. At least your brave enough to try the new fruit! I wouldn't have. See, nothing to feel like your missing out in here ;)

  4. The points you made in this post are the reasons I signed off of Facebook for good. Plus I have a job that allows for the occasional Facebook/blog/Instagram check throughout the day, and I was doing it too much (similar to what I'm doing now with this blog ;)). I try (emphasis on try) to remember that what I'm seeing on social media is the best of people's lives so I'm comparing their best with my worst. When I see someone take an amazing vacation, I don't sit back and remember my amazing vacations, I remember that I haven't had one in so many months. I appreciate your thoughts, and now I believe I will not try that fruit!

  5. I agree with this post 100%. Caleb and I watched a silly youtube video on "how to eat dragon fruit" when we tried it, and we felt all exotic for about 5 seconds! haha! So there you go, you just took yourself on an exotic adventure, brag it up girlfriend! Also, I've enjoyed renting. I like to take note of all the things I wouldn't have ever thought of that are important to me about a house. When the buying day finally comes for us... who knows when THAT will be... I'm going to be glad for all the renting we did.
    I think for these reasons that you list in the post, it's SO important for us to develop relationships beyond the surface that social media provides. Once I get to know a person more intimately, seeing the happy mixed with the sad, I am soooo happy for them when good things come their way. Everyone struggles deeply and we all need encouragement in our little successes.

  6. Haha, i FEEL YOU SIS! We've been married for three years (how long have you by the way? And how old are you guys? :)) and yeah we get the baby questions a lot because so many who got married after us are having kids and buying homes etc... But we should remind ourselves of the good things in our lives - it is kinda nice not having babies yet, it is kinda nice not having to mown the lawn or keep the garden pretty. :) Everything happens when the timing's right.


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