I subscribed to Robert Glazer’s Friday Forward posts a few months back. Robert Glazer is the Founder & CEO of Acceleration Partners. Every Friday a new article will be sent into my email box as a subscriber, and I enjoy reading them every time.
In his most recent article, he mentioned that lots of people have a scenario, which is FOMO “fear of missing out”-mostly due to the presence of social media.
FOMO is a psychosocial phenomenon, which exists everywhere. According to Wikipedia, FOMO is social anxiety which is characterized by “a desire to stay continually connected with what others are doing, and it results from the new and increasing addiction to social media.
I was a heavy WeChat user for a while, and every day I needed to finish reading all the posts in my free moments so that I felt I wouldn’t miss anything essential, and I could feel I connected with active friends on WeChat.
I have set my son’s screen time to 30 minutes every day. However, one day when I was checking my cell phone screen time, it was nearly 5 hours! I couldn’t believe it. Then I clicked the details: It showed that I got an average of 104 notifications per day and an average of 44 phone pickups per day. Even today, on Christmas Day, I opened 13 apps and got 74 notifications. Not surprisingly, 85% of my time was on WeChat and What’sup.
One day my friend asked me how I still have time for writing blogs when I am so busy? A full-time job plus my start-up; as well as being a mom, a blogger, a home chef and baker, a disciplined fitness keeper who goes to the fitness center at least 3 times per week, an entry-level piano leaner and a lifetime learner who enjoys reading and taking online lessons… I said, “Yes I am super busy, but I can still arrange my time around them….I have been very proud of my time management since I can do so much in 24 hours…but sarcastically, I was shocked when looking at my screen time analysis. I still have time, which has just been hidden during my every day screen time. For a while, I felt I had been too busy every day so I had to stay up late to can catch up with everything.
I am an active social media user. I comment on my friends’ WeChat posts, like them or share them. I am busy replying to my friends’ private messages on WeChat. I am on dozens of private groups on WeChat.
I am afraid of missing out if I don’t check the moments on WeChat. I check it the first thing after waking up and the last thing before sleep.
One day I listened to an article, and it says at the current time, 90% of people’s attention is wasted on things which are not very relevant. If everyone can pull 40% of that attention back, they can improve lots of things in their lives.
One of my friends said she hadn’t learned a new skill in the last five years but how many hours, days, and months did she spend on WeChat or watching the most popular TV series and movies?
I listened to an audiobook last year, and it said, “Do you know what’s the most important asset you have but you are not aware of?” The most expensive asset you have is your time. But lots of people are not aware of it except those
Lots of us generously spend our assets –the limited time, every day on catching up with news and events, being active on social media, frequently checking the posts or emails, so we don’t feel we are missing out. However, on the other side, we miss out on lots of important things such as improving our skills, enriching our spiritual lives, spending time to build our body to be more healthy or just having sufficient sleep hours instead of staying up too late.
So, what’s new with me? I have put my cell phone away and try to check it during limited breaks. Although I don’t check my moments every day and private messages timely, I don’t feel anxious I am missing out now. I think more about the freedom of having my asset –my time back.