Have you heard of FOMO? No, it isn’t some sort of Government program designed to take over the rest of the world…FOMO means “Fear of Missing Out”. And it is a very real thing.
Recent studies have shown that people who visit social media sites (on average) 58 times a week are THREE TIMES more likely to experience loneliness than those who visit the sites 9 times or less. WOW!
What could be causing this issue? Why are so many people feeling so lonely in a time when we are WAY more connected than before?
I think the answer can be found with how we label things on these Social Media sites. “Friends” “Likes” “Shares” — These are all words that had deep and meaningful contextual meaning and realism…which have now been replaced with pixels.
Friends no longer are people who will stick with you thick and thin, they are people who will ‘unfollow’ you or ‘un-friend’ you at the drop of a hat. Just for sharing a thought, opinion or belief! How crazy is that?
Our souls were designed to be in deep and meaningful community, and many of us have given up this community for the sake of a few more followers, a perfectly curated Instagram feed, or to write the next viral tweet.
We’ve given ourselves over to a beast and a system that, at its very core, promises friendship and meaning in life…while stripping that very thing away from us IF we are aren’t careful.
Now, many of you who have read this far are probably thinking “Wow, John Wylie is dogging on Social Media? WHAT HAPPENED?” and that isn’t fully the case. What I am simply trying to say is that we need to become just as serious, HECK – even MORE serious about our real LIFE and friendships than our online friendships.
I have many great connections online, and ones that began online. Don’t get me wrong…but if one of my real life friends needed me, and my choice was between being with them or connecting with a few more folks online; you’d better believe I’d be with my real-life friend.
Fellow human being…you were made to be just that. A human, being. Challenge yourself to be in this world. Fully release yourself to friendships around you. Dig deep. Dive in. Even if it’s awkward. Even if there is silence. Even if you can’t take that perfect picture to share with your online community about what you are doing…..just…..be.
I have found that some of my most treasured relationships and moments and life are not found anywhere on my Social Media platforms.
Our lives should be sacred to those closest to us.
Look for a part two of this blog coming later this week.