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fear of missing out

As far as trendy addictions go, FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is so last year. The new widespread addiction is FOBO (Fear Of Being Offline).

Yep, according to a study called Coming Of Age Onscreen – which surveyed 18-24-year-olds in 13 different countries – the majority of young people are totally addicted to their phone. 

In fact, 70 percent of people surveyed said they need to be able to check their phones at ALL times. Sound like you?

Here are signs you need to get out of your FOBO funk:

1. The first thing you do when you go somewhere new is check for a Wi-Fi connection and make sure your phone has a signal.

 

2. And if someone doesn't know their Wi-Fi password, it's just like:

 

3. You treat your phone like a person with feelings.

 

4. The first thing you do in when you wake up and the last thing you do before going to sleep is check your phone. And this usually happens while doing so:

 

5. You sometimes spend the whole day on your laptop and don't realise it until you look up and it's dark outside.

 

6. If you leave your phone in work, you rather travel all the way back than go without.

 

7. And don't even talk about planes.

 

8.You've gone to extreme lengths to charge your phone.

 

9. And a slow-loading page throws you into a crisis.

 

10. Losing your phone = losing your BFF.

 

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Our generation has been afforded so many more opportunities than our parents before us. We can travel across the world at the drop of a hat (provided we have a few quid), we can have a cross-continental video chat simply by pressing a few buttons, and we can discover exactly what’s going on all over the world with a few quick scrolls on our smartphone.

Our little bubble can be as big or as small as we want it to be. It can stretch across the globe, or it can be confined to our couch, a onesie and the TV. While it’s truly amazing and eye-opening to have the freedom to be part of anything, at any time, that open door also comes with a few problems.

If you’re the kind of person who hates being left out of a conversation, or hates missing even the smallest of events with friends, you’ve definitely experienced FOMO at one point or another. Let’s face it, you probably experience it at least once a day.

Maybe you have work to catch up on, or are desperate for a few minutes to yourself, or maybe you just don’t have the funds. Whatever valid reasons you have for why you really shouldn’t be attending that dinner/house party/cocktail night, it’s impossible to ignore the little voice in your head that says, “but what if you miss out on something AMAZING?”

As the generation that has so many opportunities for discovery and exploration at our fingertips, it almost feels shameful to say “no” to an invitation. Why stay in for a quiet night when we could be out and about again, meeting new people and having incredible experiences?

Sometimes though, a reality check can go a long way. Yes, we might miss out on a life-changing experience at that gig/cinema trip/lunch, but in all likelihood, we probably won’t. All it will have resulted in is that we’ve now spread ourselves too thin and let ourselves down in other ways – by not getting enough sleep, by losing focus at work, or by missing out on family time.

As much as we need social experiences in our lives, we also need to maintain some sense of stability and balance. By rushing around trying to see everyone and discover everything that’s out there for us, we only end up missing out on the things that matter most – contentment and fulfilment.

So tonight, why not skip that invite for drinks that you really can’t afford a month before Christmas, and snuggle up with a cuppa and the Late Late Toy Show? Allow yourself to spend quality time alone or with family. Don’t stress about what you’re missing out on in the big bad world – just get settled in the moment and enjoy it.

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