Fear of missing out?

I guess words like “I just love my media” would never exit my mouth, simply because I don’t. What strikes me about this is that I still engage in it everyday, and very much enjoy doing so. But I have many mixed feelings about where our technology is developing towards and wether I like the effect it has on us.

I think the type of media that concerns me the most is definitely social media. Do I like seeing and knowing what everyone is doing ? Depends on the person I’d say. But it’s safe to say that my closest friends would tell me what they’ve been up to anyways, so there’s not really a need to be bombarded with information and pictures on social media about it. Do I still post stories myself and want to see what my friends are doing? Of course! And what strikes me the most about this is that I want to know what everyone is up to, even if I don’t know them in real life; simply because I am curious and don’t want to miss out on anything. But are we really able to miss out? And even if I would not have all those informations at hand, would I still feel like I’d miss out?

I simply cannot answer those questions because I am in the environment I am in right now. All I know is that it is very liberating to not use social media like Instagram for a while, to “detox” and see what it feels like to not know and swim in the unknown for a bit. And what I’ve noticed is that it is even more liberating to come back to it and see that I can engage in Instagram to a degree where I don’t feel like I am missing out on anything, nor am I questioning my social life or lifestyle in general; if you are insecure and unhappy with your life, social media will fuel that. But it will also fuel your self-confidence and help you express your identity, without being too self-centered. I feel that social media is definitely to blame for a number of issues, but it’s mostly what you make of it and luckily we have more awareness for how the algorithms function, and we can decide wether we want to participate in “working” for those platforms or not.

Nonetheless, I’d still would’ve like to know what it was like growing up and living outside of a world where people swipe, like, click, scroll and access so much information in so little time.


Published by Life in Media

Website dedicated to the Media Life/Life in Media project of Mark Deuze, Professor of Media Studies, University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands).

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