The FOMO Effect

Noemi J. Mullins

I don’t like generalizing, so please take this with a pinch of salt. As I’m a Millennial, I want to give some credence to how I view my generation and the flaws we have with each other.

We may or may not want to claim credit, but I believe that my generation has created an illusion of happiness and fulfillment that we are under pressure to achieve without having to do much. Our generation is constantly struggling with “FOMO,” or the fear of missing something, and there are so many social media channels that continue the cycle of unsatisfying relationships. We should not allow ourselves to believe that happiness will appear and last as our “friends” portray themselves in social media.

In terms of our relationship, the FOMO concept implies that we are worth much more than we actually receive. This cycle of hopelessness and isolation is also perpetuated when we are unable to find and maintain a loving and fun connection. We compare ourselves with online personas that we perceive as successful or happy “friends,” and we get down on ourselves when we think we can’t match their lifestyles. The girl who posts pretty selfies on Instagram doesn’t capture the moments when she feels lonely and insecure. The couple who posts photos and tweets of their endless adventures and thriving romance don’t capture moments of hardship and disconnection. (…It’s not that they are happy or fulfilled. But we are prone to see only the good. We compare it to our relationships that are difficult and ask, “Why can’t I get that?”

My clients, many of whom are Millennials themselves, have shown me the negative impact that our generation has on our relationships and self-perception. We’re afraid to let our guard go and allow our partners, family, friends, and potential partners… to see us in our times of struggle and regret. We are afraid to admit that we sometimes need support because it would go against all we have built for ourselves as an independent, confident, intelligent, and innovative generation. Partners should know exactly what we require…

I want to continue helping my generation recognize that love isn’t always easy and that finding or building authentic connections with others can be scary but shouldn’t ever be avoided. My millennial clients, who struggle with FOMO and are looking for deep bonds, can learn to be vulnerable.

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