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Stay in Touch

Stay in Touch

I’ve been suffering from a severe case of the FOMO/homesickness.

To combat this, I figured I should get off social media. You know, out of sight out of mind and all that jazz. So here’s how it goes – I delete and deactivate my social media with a vengeance, thinking that will cure the FOMOitis. But a few days later, I can’t control the urge of sneaking a little peek into the lives of my ‘friends’! Also, I need to know what new memes are out. What if I miss out on a meme that is so me that I could have legit… died! Oh! The tragedy!

Anyway, I promise myself that it will be only ten mins. Tops! I realize I am experiencing social media withdrawal. Once I’ve had my fix, I go ahead and delete/deactivate the apps again.  I chide myself for being so weak, but a part of me is pleased because I now know where that one friend drank their beer last Friday night. If I look at the picture long enough, I think I can even tell what kind of beer it is. Yeah, it was a pale ale. I’m pretty sure.

This goes on for a couple of weeks until I reinstall the apps for one of those important sneak peaks and just conveniently don’t delete it again. So, basically I’m stuck in this vicious cycle and I can’t get out!

This little predicament is definitely not unique to me. Many of you reading may have experienced the feeling I’ve described above at some point in your life. A 2017 study among young adults in the US found that the more time you spend on social media the stronger the PSI – Perceived Social Isolation (though that might not be the case).  That seems counterintuitive, right? Shouldn’t you feel a sense of accomplishment because you’ve managed to get 600 plus followers on Instagram and over 1000 ‘friends’ on facebook. That obviously means you are very social thereby minimizing the PSI! And to top it all off, you probably don’t feel any isolation in the real sense of the word. And if you do, trying to fill it with virtual interactions is not going to address that.

After having some pretty rough days with the FOMOness, I decided I have to do something different because if this continues, it’s only gonna get worse and will lead to me resenting the life I am starting to build here. I was aiming on treating the cause and not the symptom.

Sending multiple “let me know when I can call” texts to the people I care about. I am still awaiting my employment authorization (aka I’m a stay at home wife) so I have more free time than all of my friends and family. This sometimes means I have to follow up several times with the same people so I can have real conversations (sending memes doesn’t count) with them! And, hey, I am okay with that!

I’ve begun checking in regularly with my real friends. If a whatsapp group has been quiet for a prolonged period, I try to get the conversation going! This way, I get to hear all those important and not so important life updates from them and not having to rely on Instagram to tell me one of my good friends rescued another pupper, or that another friend has changed her workout routine and she’s feeling the best she’s ever felt!

Finding alternate modes of communication if calls don’t work! I love sending long emails. These emails are a mix of all sorts of mundane information, updates, musings and of course how much I love/miss the recipient! Soon, we get a pretty long chain going and it’s so easy to pick up where we left off!

Limiting my social media intake by downloading an app that tracks how much time I spend scrolling on said apps. I use Quality Time. Pun intended.

And Guess what? The curse of long distance relationships isn’t just applicable to romantic ones. I recently realized that some relationships may not be strong enough to pass the test of distance and lack of constant communication. The effort just isn’t worth it! Well, I tried.

I succeeded in bringing my PSI down to a 2 or 3. If 1 is the isolation you feel while you poop and 10 is the isolation Matt Damon’s character (The Martian) experienced on Mars . (FYI – that is not a real scale). But hey, I guess you can never not miss home when you are living on the other side from it!

Originally posted on Sample Stories

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