2020 has been the year of self-discovery I think for most. Right now we face a lot of time by ourselves as most have shrunk the our normal social interactions to the bare minimum. With that being the case the internet has been a natural place to retreat to with very little else going on, and even less most can participate in.
Being a millennial, growing up as the internet evolved and became such a part of the aging process we’ve now seen the studies and what that has done. Information is more readily available and accessible, yet it seems like it has separated people as opposed to united. The world is open to all, you can connect with almost anyone and yet it seems we’re more isolated. So now what when all of that will ramp up with little else available?
Fear of missing out has been the common phrase to explain the problem social media has caused. With all this social media you can see people doing these amazing things, you can see lifestyles and amazing things that may never be available to us. Social media is for peacocking and instead of inspiring it has caused depression and longing for what we don’t have.
Now, I’m not disputing that any of that is false because I think most that spend time on social media go through FOMO, but what I feel like the core of the issue really is, is self-criticism. Dare I even say self-hate. The things we long for may inspire jealousy but I think if you dig a little deeper the depression that it causes really stems from doubt and questioning of one’s real worth.
For over a week the AJ & McCall Show has been working from home and for even longer I adopted social distancing and kept myself mostly at home. I, like many others, have spent more time on the internet with everything gone as the world deals with COVID-19. Social media has been a place to go as concerts have moved there, personalities are using it try and be entertaining and the masses are searching for that and connection.
A lot of that time I’ve spent on the newest big platform, Tik Tok. Just like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube before it there are kids that have been able to use that platform to find new fame. Theses are kids my age and younger who are doing something amazing just as their predecessors have, but it hasn’t caused me to feel FOMO but more self-criticism. Because the truth is, while plenty of them have talent, are they really doing something that crazy that no one else can?
There was a Poll of the Day in the AJ & McCall show not that long ago that asked “Do you get more errands done during a normal day or when you have it off?” and most people said they stay more productive during a normal schedule. That’s the case for me. Over the last two weeks I’ve had more time to myself to use and create content, as well as other things, and I’ve found myself mostly wasting it? So I’m wasting the time while watching these content creators use this flux of an audience to build their brands. It’s not FOMO but anger at not doing the exact same thing.
Since social media is about peacocking if you don’t have something to share at that moment it becomes a case of measuring yourself because that’s what happens in all aspects of life, it’s a competition. These kids have used the platform to build a brand and I haven’t so my brain jumps to they’re better. I’m not jealous at what they have, though there are some cases of fame that are head scratchers, but I get internal thinking ‘Why can’t I do that? Why haven’t I? Why didn’t I think about that?’ Am I not as good as them.
While there are plenty of negatives that have been associated with social media, the truth is everyone has a platform now. Each new day provides just an even bigger platform to reach out to an audience. The evolution of social media means something new will be coming along to give another group of people a chance to make content and get their piece of the fame pie, there’s always going to be an audience. And there’s no limitation to what that content can be.
I don’t have FOMO, I have self-hate for the fact that my normal ways of procrastination and laziness are preventing from doing similar things to anyone else that has found success. But that’s the thing, 2020 has given most an unprecedented amount of time to fall in to the same trap while also making the same improvements. Write, make skits, play video games, DIY projects they possibilities truly are endless.
I once attended a lecture lead by Bobby Bones and Charlamagne Tha God, two of the most successful radio personalities in the history of the dials. Charlamagne talked about the jealousy that comes with social media while talking to an audience that wanted exactly what he has. His advice was don’t be jealous of what others have because those or just snap shots of their absolute best, be jealous of their work ethic. Those people with what you want aren’t showing you what goes on behind the scenes. They are dedicating their time constantly to do that and that’s something anyone can, anyone can bust ass and work hard for opportunities.
Don’t compare yourself because an imitation will never be as successful as someone that’s real, that’s the number one lesson for a career in radio. There’s plenty of platforms so find your hobby, your thing and use what’s at your disposal. A phrase that was constantly repeated when I was in therapy was “If you can’t provide peace for yourself then you can’t provide it for others.” While we’re all in quarantine the best thing we can do is find comfort in who we are, and if you can do that there will never be FOMO.