I came across this video clip of an interview with a psychologist in San Diego, Dr. Michael Mantell, talking about “fear of missing out.” He describes this fear as being uniquely associated with social networks, like Facebook or Twitter. In essence, it occurs when the person worries that they are missing out on something better (often something they see on a social networking site) and have difficulty finding contentment in their current situation.
This topic is particularly timely given recent attention from Newsweek and other media outlets on the impact the internet is having on our mental health as a country.
The clip is watchable below:
I think it is good to take a look at ourselves from time to time to see if we are falling into this sort of trap in our own use of the internet and social networking. In fact, I think many can fall into this trap of negative thinking even without using Facebook or Twitter to see what others are doing.
As Dr. Mandell suggests, it is better to focus less on what we “could” or “should” be doing, and focus on what is best for our own lives, independent of others.