We all want to make the most of the short time we have on this earth. Feeling lonely from time to time is inevitable. It’s evident that social media is a massive contributor to FOMO – the Fear of Missing Out. FOMO defined as the feeling of missing out on past, present, or current event usually brought on by social media accounts. It can occur over just about any situation; whether it’s the proclaimed “party of the year” or a relaxing gathering with friends, you feel as if you’re missing something big that could impact future fun or success. While it’s easy to say that merely deleting all social media cures FOMO and internet-induced envy, it doesn’t work for those of us who still want to have some online presence, whether it be professional or personal. Here are some ways to limit the feeling of emptiness per social media while still maintaining an online presence.

Limit the number of people you friend or follow on social media

While it may be tempting to see what people from your high school are up to, it can be overwhelming. What about those people who add you on social media after meeting just once and post meaningless quips about their everyday lives that take up a lot more of our time than we think. Imagine the time you could save in the morning by just not logging on to look at someone else’s breakfast. Sometimes it seems like everyone in the world is having more fun than you. Do yourself a favor and delete people you’ll never see again, minus those who update insightful statuses or fun quips. Because let’s face it: we need a little laugh and inspiration in the day.
Unfollow if it becomes too much

For the people that you will see again, we have a better method to remedying awkwardness. If you don’t want to possibly offend or not potentially ruin a personal or business connection, press the unfollow button right next to the “Friend” button on your page. Unfollowing is like Unfriending, except the person will never know that you don’t see their minute-to-minute antics on your timeline. Facebook doesn’t notify a user when they’re being “followed” or “unfollowed,” so you can save face the next time you run into that guy at a dinner party who frequently shares pictures of his dog. Miss them already? No problem. You can follow them again, and they’ll never know you took a break from their daily sagas.

Take a break and do something you enjoy

Taking a break doesn’t mean deleting your social media accounts entirely; it just means to take a day-long, week-long, or even month-long break. Work toward your purpose; a cause that you are passionate about. Reach out to your greater physical community. You’d be surprised to see how much more efficient you’ll become and how much you enjoy real life as opposed to virtual, whether it be alone time or an actual date with a friend. After taking some time away and rejuvenating, you can go back and re-engage on social media knowing that you can easily live without it whenever you want.

Limit the amount you post

As ever-so-validating heaps of likes can be, it’s possible that you may be the one oversharing. You may feel a pang of disappointment when your cleverly made up status or new profile picture didn’t get the reaction you anticipated. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it may promote pangs of sadness. Having too much on your timeline could make a person seem too busy to hang out. Do yourself a favor and limit the amount you post, update, or share. Let people miss you once in a while and invite them the opportunity to contact you. It’ll also make the likes feel sweeter (whatever you post, people have the option to press the “like” button, displaying their support for your post).

Social media is a fantastic invention. It keeps us connected, helps us promote the things we love, and sometimes even motivates us to try something new. It can also craft a fantasy that we misconstrue as real life. The tips above can help us limit our FOMO and potential loneliness by limiting how much social media we take in. Also, never forget that real-life interaction almost always beats virtual reality. Keep your life balanced by living full out!

Contributing Author: Sarah Faemi