Imagine that you’re someone who has spent weeks, months, years, trying to cope with social anxiety disorder. You take little baby steps, by challenging yourself to say “hi” to a stranger, or by going out to a bar for the first time.

But then you open the Pandora’s Box that is Facebook, and you see people far ahead of you. There’s the girl who keeps clubbing every week. Sam, who posts statuses that always get over 100 likes – how? Oh, and Susie, that girl you had to add for a group assignment that seems to magically be friends with everyone in the course.

Screencap taken from "What It's Like Having FOMO", Buzzfeed YT

Screencap taken from “What It’s Like Having FOMO”, Buzzfeed YT

Then comes the bitterness, envy, and low self esteem. It’s easy to break down when you feel like social anxiety has made you enter late into the game. I get FOMO every week. I even checked it this morning, and got a huge pang of depression. But I’m fighting it.

Social media is extremely unrealistic. Where’s the platform dedicated to nights in? Bad days? When you feel insecure? During FOMO moments?

Social media stops you from looking at the bigger picture. It takes you away from your own journey, into the journey of negative comparisons.

Focus on each goal that you want to tackle with social anxiety, and screw everything else people are doing online. Take a breath. Step back. Be present. Limit how many times you check. And remind yourself that that these things are just numbers. They aren’t experiences. That time you spoke up for the first time in class? That’s an experience.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what they are doing. You matter. You can do this. If you feel like you’re making progress with social anxiety, ask yourself: “If I didn’t check Facebook, would I be happy with what I’ve done today?” The answer would probably be yes.

I’m probably missing some things here. What are your FOMO moments? What are things you do to combat FOMO?

(Ok, so I hear you asking: why do have a Graduate from Social Anxiety FB and Twitter? I still wanted to share coping strategies and stories for students with SA on those platforms too, FOMO free!)