Social Media and Extreme Expectations

Mitchell Kay
Photo by Steinar Engeland on Unsplash

Social Media has been around for quite some time and has created ever-lasting effects on our culture. We are now approaching a new era of the internet with a rise of content creators. The increased accessibility to the internet has created a frenzy of content that is unlikely to slow down. Every day more and more people are becoming “internet famous” and thousands, sometimes millions of people have begun living their lives vicariously through these internet personalities.

It is common knowledge that social media has had a damaging effect on the mental health of our population as a whole. The use of photoshop and face tune has created beauty standards for both men and women that are often unrealistic. On top of the beauty standards that have become prevalent, lifestyle standards have begun to surface.

Read more about social media's effect on mental health here:

Everyone is out there living their best life

From exotic beaches to life in the big apple, influencers and other internet celebrities love to plaster their lives onto our phone screens. Rightfully so, these people have created a lifestyle standard that is posted all over the internet.

The average person is not able to jet off to Paris and drink wine in front of the Eiffel Tower on some random weekend or afford to live in a prime Manhattan neighborhood. But, these “influencers” document themselves living these types of lives and the average viewer is beginning to long for that standard of life, as anyone would.


The fear of missing out has become a common phrase characterized by the desire to be somewhere else doing something else that you deem enjoyable or better than your current situation. FOMO has created anxious and depressive behavior in many people in different ways.

Some people respond to the fear of missing out by doing anything and everything they are invited to or creating their own experiences, others do not. The close connection we have to one another due to the internet has created a constant comparison to what everyone else is doing around you.

Why FOMO can be debilitating

The fear of missing out is often followed by anxiety and an intense desire for another person’s life or experiences. While many may think that that this would spark inspiration in people to chase those dreams, it often does the opposite.

In some cases, the fear of missing out often coincides with the fear of being judged. This includes the judgment of what you wear, where you work, your physical appearance, your emotional stability, your relationships, and more. As a result of the constant comparison that we experience, we have begun to fear the judgment of others through social media and the standards that have developed over time.

Some people do not have the energy or confidence to go out and do the things they see on social media which often creates more negative self-talk, which is not needed.

What Is My Point?

Social Media is not always raw and real. Those people you see with your dream job or those people you see living in the city you have always wanted to move to are not always genuine. Those people have the same struggles and are usually putting on a show so people keep engaging with their content.

You shouldn't have FOMO, you should have JOMO!

The joy of missing out.

The joy of missing out because you know deep down you are exactly where you should be and experiencing life in the way that you want. The joy of missing out because you do not care what everyone else is doing.

FOMO shouldn’t exist. The constant comparison that we make to the people around us is becoming unhealthy. You should do whatever it is you want to do without the fear of being judged or the fear of not following what everyone else is doing. We are all on a different path and you aren’t missing out. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

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