In college one of my favorite articles I read was about FOMO, the fear of missing out. It's basically a feeling you get when you go on social media and see that all your friends are having so much fun and you weren't there. There's all these studies out now that back FOMO up, saying that social media and the Internet is causing kids to feel higher levels of anxiety (click here for an article that backs me up. and another just to up my credibility). Why I liked this article so much- and literally printed it out so I could always have it- was because I could deeply relate to it. I always felt like I was missing out. If I was invited to 2 different events at the same time, I would pick one and then sit on Facebook or Twitter the day after, waiting to see pictures and and status updates about the party I missed out on. I consistently felt like the other option was better no matter how much fun I'd have the night before, I'd always feel like I should have done the other thing.
Making decisions would be stressful, and then I'd have anxiety about it after, knowing that I'd be able to see if the other people had fun. One night I wanted to unwind after a rough week and relax, so I made no plans and decided to stay in. However, it was nowhere near relaxing. I kept checking in on social media and seeing how much fun people were having and I wondered why I ever decided not to go out. So much for relaxing...
Over time I built it up in my head that social media was this huge problem and that I'd never want to work in it because it is an evil empire. After getting a job where my title is literally "Social Media Specialist", I realize how wrong I was about social media.
Social media was never the problem. The problem was all in my head. This is how I needed to think about it: when people go out and take pictures, they hardly ever take sad ones and post them on Facebook. Even more, some of the best nights I've ever had were ones where we didn't take any pictures because we were literally having too much fun to do so.
Consider that people that tweet excessively are probably not doing anything else that would distract them from tweeting, while you're out there having a blast.
And lastly, who the hell cares? Remember that. If I had a great time, why should I be concerned if someone else had more fun? Why can't we all just have fun and not attempt to quantify it and compare it?
Social media is a great way to connect friends and families, consumers and companies, and strangers with similar interests. Just because someone tweets more than you, is tagged in more pictures than you, has a higher Klout score, or is Vine famous does not intrinsically mean that they are living vastly more exciting lived than you. It's just means they waste a lot more time trying to document their lives, while you're out there living it.