Dear Annie: My friends have brought to my attention that I have a chronic case of FOMO (fear of missing out). I have to admit they’re right. With social media, I can’t help but constantly check what’s going on. I have anxiety that I’m not going out enough, not socializing enough and not making enough friends. I keep deleting my social media accounts, but then I cave and reactivate them a few days later.
For instance, I recently went to a concert with my boyfriend. We were having a great time, but then I saw a picture of a lot of my friends at a housewarming party. They looked as if they were having a blast. My boyfriend immediately noticed my expression as I looked at my phone and got angry that I was obsessing over what else was going on again.
My previous boyfriend also complained that I was always on my phone and I seemed to be somewhere else mentally. I know they’re right, but I still do it. I can’t help but feel anxious that I’ve missed opportunities. How do you squash this feeling? – Stereotypical Millennial
Dear Stereotypical: Sadly, you’re not alone. The fear-of-missing-out plague runs rampant among today’s youth. The irony is that FOMO actually makes you miss out on life. The constant anxiety about what you may be missing prevents you from living in the present. Scrolling endlessly through photo feeds on social media, worried there’s someplace else you should be, you have no awareness of your surroundings or the people you are with and can actually talk to.
Look into mindfulness meditation, and try taking a break from social media again. There are programs out there (one has the apt name of SelfControl) that allow you to block yourself from accessing certain websites. And keep in mind that everything looks much more fun the way people present it on the internet.
Dear Annie: My husband and I both have Facebook accounts. We are friends on Facebook, so I see his posts and he sees mine. Occasionally, he will comment on a woman’s picture (usually a younger woman) to say that she is very pretty or “looking good” and that her husband is a lucky man to have her.
I have told him that this bothers me. In the 49 years we’ve been together, he has never once told me that I am pretty or attractive or that he is a lucky man to have me. Yet he continues to make these comments about other women on social media.
Am I being overly sensitive, or is he being overly insensitive? I never make comments like this about men because I know it would make him angry. – Feeling Ugly in Arkansas
Dear Feeling Ugly: Oink, oink – what a pig. If anyone should feel ugly, it’s your husband for being so insensitive – not only to you but also to people he may be bothering with these unsolicited comments (such as the women’s “lucky” husbands). You have every right to be upset about that.
But the part of your letter that really got me to sit up indignantly in my chair was that in 49 years, he hasn’t told you you’re attractive or said he’s lucky to have you. Though people have different ways of expressing love, everyone needs words of affirmation now and then. Tell your husband how good it would make you feel if he complimented you sometimes. A little goes a long way.
And whether he says it or not, it’s true: He is lucky to have you.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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