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It is in our nature to compare our lives with other people. We tend to feel envious of those who are more successful or famous. As a result, we believe that others are lucky or get it better than we do. All of it turns out into FOMO, which is the fear of missing out. It is when we get anxious after missing social events, get-togethers, or other such events that our peers are perceived to be attending.
Unfortunately, the fear of missing out transforms into a compulsive need to stay in touch with other people’s lives via the Internet. Thus, it results in our children’s addiction to social media platforms. Recently, FOMO is at its all-time high among children, thanks to the window of opportunity that social media provides to its users to know about other people’s lives. So, let’s take a look at how the fear of missing out affects your children’s health.
What are the consequences of FOMO?
If you ask teens and children if they face social media anxiety, many of them would say that they don’t. But, many of them fail to realize that even if they are stressed about something they see on the Internet, there are high chances that it is FOMO. These chances escalate even further if your child spends a lot of time online.
Not only that, but when so many teenagers and pre-teens live their lives through a lot of social media exposure, they are more prone to FOMO. According to studies, a minimum of 24% of teenagers is always online. Considering these statistics, it is not alarming that FOMO is drastically increasing.
The problem in this situation is when teenagers obsessively worry about what their peers are doing, it only causes them to miss out on what happens and what could have happened in their lives even more. What’s terrible about the fear of missing out is that it makes people focus more on the outside than the inside. As a result, it causes teens to lose their sense of identity and even reduces their self-esteem. The worst part about it is that teens become so engrossed with what others are doing that they forget that they themselves have a life to live, which is full of countless possibilities.
According to a study, the more children use social media platforms like Facebook, the worse they feel with every passing minute. It hampers their sense of satisfaction because they always want to know what others are doing.
A survey in Australia found that around 60% of teenagers worry when they find that their friends are enjoying their absence. 51% say that it makes them anxious if they don’t get to know what their friends are doing. According to the researchers, there is a real correlation between the total hours they spend on the Internet and the increasing stress and depression levels.
According to another study, teens might also feel pressured to drink alcohol or use drugs to keep up with their peers or celebrities. Teens are not happy with their lives, which makes them prone to more mental concerns. These things can also distract them while learning or driving, which is very dangerous.
For example, some teenagers who have a high fear of missing out are more prone to check their social media while they drive or while they are studying. They are also more likely to post an update or text somebody while driving or learning.
How to cope with FOMO?
One of the best ways for teenagers to deal with it is to practice reframing. It is a mental exercise that helps them have a different point of view for situations. Significantly when we talk about FOMO, it will help them change their pessimistic thinking. So, here are some methods that will help your child cope with FOMO by reframing their thoughts.
Tracking their negative thoughts
Teenagers can note their negative thoughts. It will essentially help them deal with FOMO. It will also let them observe how frequently they feel pessimistic about their life.
The main thing is to track the frequency of their negative thoughts and note what they do when these thoughts occur. After that, you can check if there is a pattern in the thinking. If there is, then you think about what is supposed to be done to break that pattern.
Replace the thoughts
When you track the negative thoughts, you will also be able to recognize the negative phrases you repeat. So, when you catch your child saying something harmful to themselves, you can redirect their thoughts and replace the negativity with positive thoughts.
It will be best to take scheduled breaks from technology and do something entirely different. For instance, switching your phone off and playing a sport for two hours. The key is to make the mind focus on something other than the Internet.
How to make sure that your child is safe on the Internet?
There are various measures that you should take to make sure that your kids are safe on the Internet. But, after taking all those steps, it will be best to have a parental control tool like Avosmart that protects your children on the Internet.
You can block potentially dangerous sites, and you can even block specific YouTube channels if they are not fit for your child. Avosmart provides you with timely insights into what your children do on the Internet. You can also get live location updates with Avosmart.