by Kerry & Stacy of SociallySafe www.sociallysafe.ca
Do you never put your phone down?
Do you continuously look at it even when it doesn’t ring, or when your notifications aren’t going off?
Do you feel like it is vibrating even when it’s not?
When you haven’t had any notifications in a while, do you check to make sure your phone is working?
Are you constantly checking your status to see who has liked/commented on your posts and pictures?
Do you stop talking or listening when you are engaged in a one on one conversation with friends or family to check your phone?
You may have #FOMO syndrome? Really, this is a thing! Urban dictionary describes FOMO as “Fear Of Missing Out”. ‘The fear that if you miss a party or event you will miss out on something great.’
Many people have this ‘fear of missing out’ on something better, more fun, more engaging/interesting or a better social opportunity then the one they are currently involved in. They would rather disconnect from what they are currently doing in hopes of something or someone offering them a better form of entertainment. Many teens feel like they need to be available for their friends 24/7 in case they need them. By having your devices with you at all times, you are able to be there when they need you. Teens/tweens feel that by constantly checking and always having their devices with them they don’t miss out on anything…or do they?
Social media, group chats, private group messages are a great way to keep up to date, and in touch with friends but you have to have a healthy balance of online and real life experiences. When you are with your friends/family in person, put the devices down and really engage in the conversation. Enjoy your time together. You might be surprised by what you learn about your BFF that you may not already know or that they would not post in a 140-character tweet. Or maybe you will learn something that they don’t want everyone knowing about them.
Technology is still evolving and we need to be mindful of how we use it and when we use it. It’s okay to disconnect and enjoy time with your friends and family. So you miss out on a shopping trip with a group, think about the great time you just had with someone else and cherish that moment. Shopping days with friends will come again but that special one on one time you had enjoying real life companionship will not.
Make a commitment to put your device down and enjoy being with those you choose to spend your time with even if it’s yourself out for a walk alone. Disconnecting every so often can be good. You never know what other opportunities may come when you put your device down and look up. Always remember to be #SociallySafe