Since the beginning of time, people have been concerned about where they ‘stand’ socially, and some more so than others. The advent of social media in the 21st century however has brought society’s anxieties about missing out on certain events and activities much more into the spotlight. Young people, particularly, seem affected by this.
A study in Australia in 2015 found that 60% of teenagers became anxious when they thought that their friends were doing things without them. Whilst this feeling has probably been the same for decades, we now have the double hit of having to see the fun we are not included in posted online via Instagram or TikTok.
How can we combat these all too common feelings of being left out and missing out? One important thing to keep in mind is the fact that people only share their best experiences on social media. Whether it’s a holiday, a party, a nice restaurant, or some new clothes, people only want to share what’s good in their lives and at moments they feel happy. It is very rare that you see someone posting about, for example, having to take the bins out, having an argument or waking up with a spot on their nose. The first rule then is to remember that social media in no way represents real life; in fact, it usually represents a glorified version of what is probably a pretty mundane life- just like everyone else’s!