While FOMO is fear of missing out, FOPO is fear of people’s opinions.
Social media has enhanced this condition in many. As the use of social media platforms increase, we see an increase in people projecting a personality which is not entirely theirs on the social media giving others a false perception. We also see that people especially take photos, have experiences just to share on social media which takes the fun out of the experience.
The problem arises when you get so wrapped up in trying to continue portraying this that you are afraid to be yourself. Slowly people’s comments and likes matter so much that they challenge your self worth, if you get lots of likes and comments you feel great, however if you don’t or you don’t hear from people you expect to hear from you question yourself and them.
You get validated when they comment and feel rejected when they don’t, a rejection can be felt by the body same as a physical injury and can really hurt.
So how do you cope with FOPO?
- Validate yourself – Self reflect and analyse yourself. Know your strengths, accept your weaknesses, give yourself a reality check. When you have this self-awareness what others say negatively or positively will not affect you too much as you already know what you are worth and require no validation from others.
- Have meaningful relationships – Rather than spending energy on your social media persona, spend it on developing and nourishing relationships in real life. Remember these are the relationships which will be of value to you in your time of need. Having solid relationships with family and friends again proves to yourself that you really don’t have to bother with what other people think of you as you have the few people in your life who love you unconditionally. For you to have this you need to contribute towards it by also standing by them unconditionally.
- Build strong personal ethics – Strive to do the right thing as much as you can. When you live to a high personal standard, what others think really doesn’t matter anymore as you know that you are living your life with strong values. However, for this you need to be completely honest with yourself, you cannot justify your actions though you know what you are doing is not right.
How to have a healthy social media persona
- Don’t use it for validation or self promotion – Use social media for the purpose it was established for, to connect and communicate with family and friends, while you can share photos, videos etc, don’t share them for validation or to show off. This should not be the purpose.
- Delete some Apps and limit phone time – If you feel you have too many apps and you feel the pressure to be in touch via all of them delete some apps and maybe use only 1-2 apps to stay in touch. This will also limit phone time. Make it a point to limit phone time and do activities in real life for entertainment and pleasure.
- Don’t vent on social media – It has become a norm for people to post quotes which depict their mental state on social media making them an easy target for predators. Many vent their frustrations on social media to grab attention or complain. This really doesn’t help in anyway and it creates negativity around your social media persona. Keep your mental state personal and speak to some real people who care about you if you need to. Don’t use social media to hurt anyone or make statements which indirectly target someone.
- Don’t create a fake personality – This is a big No as this brings with it a gamut of problems and really will impact the way you live and your mental state. Anyone with self-worth really don’t need to do this. If you are attracted to doing this question yourself what is lacking in your life and what you can do to fix it.
- Self esteem Vs social media – Finally your self esteem should not be affected by anything on social media, be it be followers or comments. If you feel this is impacting your self-esteem take a break from it.
About the Author: Vahini is the CEO and Founder of Health Academy Australia and Health Courses Australia. She is multi faceted in her skills and expertise which is backed by 20 years experience in the areas of education, health, ecommerce and Information Technology. She is a CEO, Passionate business owner, Author, Blogger, Nutritionist, Digital marketing expert and a Mum.