As seen on my Instagram, I have been traveling for the past few weeks. As a result, my Instagram has been filled with gorgeous images of the places that I've been traveling to. Upon returning home, lots of people were asking me questions about the trip. They were wowing and one person told me that looking at my pictures made her "jealous".

When she said that, I wasn't surprised, considering how many times that I had been the jealous one. When my friend Hannah sends me Snapchats of her in Italy, yeah, I'm a little jealous. When I see on Instagram that a friend is going to Thailand, I'm a little jealous too.

Social media has a tendency to do that. It's the place where we flaunt our best moments, our best looks, and our best lives.

Similar: If You Didn't Post it On Social Media, Did it Really Happen? 

However, as a result of people cultivating the perfect online image, FOMO occurs. If you don't know what FOMO is, it's short for the "fear of missing out". It's essentially what I was describing before: when you see things online and feel jealous, like you might be missing out on something incredible.

But if you need a more specific definition, according to a study quoted by Time.com,

FOMO is defined as " …‘the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out – that your peers are doing, in the know about, or in possession of more or something better than you.'"

Read more: This is the Best Way to Overcome Fear of Missing Out - Time.com

So now that we've established what FOMO is, let's bring it back to what people said about my trip, how my pictures made people jealous. While that's understandable, considering how I was sharing only the most glamorous parts of the trip and the most glamorous parts of my life, what became clear to me on that trip was that FOMO works both ways.

While it's not some big revelation or something that I didn't know before, it was that I never really gave the idea much thought. The thing was that even though it was a fun trip, exciting and fast paced and surreal at moments, I still had those moments with a tiny bit of FOMO, like I wished that I could be at home, relaxing.

And that sounds a little silly, considering how privileged I am to be able to travel and see beautiful places, but the truth is that even though travel is exciting, it can be stressful and tiring as well. I guess that what I'm trying to say was that I was not aware of how much I like my normal mundane life until I felt that fast-paced on the go feeling for 3 weeks straight.

I remember while I was at the Alhambra de Granada, I said to my sister, "Imagine if this was your life, imagine if you saw this view every day" as we were walking through the gorgeous gardens. However, I think that I'm only meant to imagine. Yes, I'm never going to walk through gardens of that amount of beauty probably ever on a daily basis out of practicality because I don't have that kind of money. But I also don't know if I would be happy with it.

I complain about my boring life and feel like it's just not exciting enough. On a day to day basis, I don't go out to eat every day for every meal of the day. I don't wake up at 6am in the morning and then walk for the whole day and go to sleep at midnight. I don't get to see the gorgeous Portuguese beaches whenever I want. I don't walk through a historical palace and see the gardens as my view every day.

However, while I don't have those things, I have a lot of incredible things already in my life. 

I have a good balance (for me at least) between relaxation and that on the go energy in my life. I have the opportunity to explore things that interest me. I have all the things that I need for my day to day life. I have everything that I need and more.

Similar: Do You Need a Lot to Be Happy?

I guess that my vacation was a reminder of what it really was: a vacation. It's something that's temporary, an escape that feels like living an alternative life, but ultimately you return to reality. And while vacations are fun, there's also no place like home. Seriously, after a vacation, the best feeling is to come home and sleep in your own bed for the night.

So enough about my vacation and let's talk more about what that means in regards to FOMO, which is what this post is really about. What this whole story says is that FOMO is natural.

Even when you're living in this extravagant lifestyle, FOMO will still exist because you will always be searching for what you do not have. 

In economics, there is the idea of opportunity cost. According to Investopedia, "Opportunity cost represents the benefits an individual, investor or business misses out on when choosing one alternative over another." It is essentially the next best option. While one option, which in this case is relaxing at home, sounds tempting, I chose to give it up in order to pursue what I deem the best option, which is to travel.

I think that FOMO is simply someone that is thinking too much about the opportunity cost and less about the best option, which is the one that they have chosen to pursue. 

Focusing too much on the opportunity cost is very much a "the grass is greener on the other side" mentality. You are looking at everything that you don't have to the point that you forget what you already have.

Whenever you feel like you're suffering from FOMO, remind yourself that you are already living the best option for yourself. You have so much good in your life. And if you look around you, you might realize that you may already be living the best life for you.

And if you're not, there's no harm in wanting to improve it either. Just remember why you're doing it: is it because you are just vying for what you don't have, the next best option? Or is it because you're aiming for the absolute best option, the one that you would forgo the opportunity cost for? Just don't forget to put things in perspective.


Why You Shouldn't Take FOMO So Seriously


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