FOMO as a millennial during the lockdown

It’s been five weeks since I started working from home and around the same time since I saw anyone besides my flatmates due to COVID-19. I can’t really decide if it’s flown by or it’s been driving me to despair. But one thing I do know is that I’ve not experienced any Fear Of Missing Out.

Photo by Hamish Duncan on Unsplash

People have told me otherwise, but I’m really an introvert at heart. These five weeks haven’t felt too bad in all honesty. I was expecting cabin fever to set in after the third week but I’m still yet to see that.

I find enjoying a good book and waking up without a hangover much more rewarding than spending £80 on a night out and not being able to stomach any food for the majority of the next day. That’s just the way I am. I like to feel productive, perhaps not actually be productive, but I like the feeling of trying at least. I enjoy seeing my friends, but living in London, it takes a good hour to see any of them so it doesn’t happen too often.

It’s been about three weeks, maybe four, since the pubs, restaurants and cafes started closing down here in the UK. Activities became much more ‘in-house’, we got Monopoly at the flat and started going out a lot less. Mainly because besides going to the shop for food was the only thing we needed to leave the house for. I started seeing friends do the same, and all of a sudden our social activities just took a nosedive.

Photo by Eaters Collective on Unsplash

For a lot of millennials, it didn’t really happen if it isn’t on your Instagram story. I’ve actually muted everyone I follow on Instagram because for me, I know the negative effects staring at someone’s holiday pics whilst I’m lying in bed until midday. It just doesn’t make me feel good (yes, I know I said I like to be productive, but we all have our off days).

Muting people on Instagram means their posts don’t come up on my feed, all I see is my own posts. If you were to look at Instagram on my phone you’d probably think I was the most narcissistic person on the app… then again maybe not. But the one thing you can’t mute is Instagram stories. They don’t disappear as the posts do. I try my hardest not to look at them, but the temptation is high. I find myself flicking through them every so often and get the same feeling as I would staring at someone’s amazing holiday snaps. Stories are slightly rawer too, yes they may not portray everything in full, but you can’t photoshop your Instagram story.

Social media is where a lot of millennials like myself experience the greatest amount of FOMO. The fear of missing out. With everyone now in lockdown, there’s not much to post. It’s now just daily updates from people in bed or trying to trick-shot a ping pong ball into a cup. There are no amazing Instagram stories from yachts in the South of France or of someones 12oz rump steak at the newest restaurant in the city. We’ve all been reduced to the confines of our homes and there’s nothing to show off anymore. I’m not missing out on anything because no one’s doing anything. And if they are, it’s not exciting enough to post on social media, so it’s out of sight and out of mind.

Photo by Kristian Egelund on Unsplash

To keep myself entertained I’ve been doing a lot of exercise. My road bike and my running shoes have never seen so much action. Besides getting my daily exercise in since I’m stuck at home 24/7, it’s really allowed me to focus on myself. I’ve learnt new things, I’ve read more and I’ve been really happy doing so. I’m not chasing anything, I’m doing everything at my own pace and doing it for myself. Being inside for five weeks has given me a lot of time to reflect, my routines are out of whack but I’m still journaling and at no point have I ever written anything negative. I’ve been content the whole time.

Maybe I’m the exception, but maybe not. It’s definitely made me realise I don’t need anyone else to be happy. Over the last few years I haven’t put myself first, I’ve always had someone else in mind. That changed at the beginning of the year after a relationship ended but these five weeks have really driven home the fact that I just need to focus on myself first. That’s all I need to be happy and everything else is an added bonus.

Millennial, Photographer, Struggling Entrepreneur.