By Leigh Brandt

As college students, we are all too familiar with the term FOMO, aka “fear of missing out.” It’s extremely prevalent, especially at this point in our lives. 

We refresh our Snapchat and Instagram feeds and are bombarded with posts and stories of fun experiences that we’re not a part of. Although it often seems like these people are having the times of their lives, we’re only seeing a partial picture of what’s happening inside the frame. 

We have this desire to show the world, our friends, our peers, our acquaintances, that we’re doing well — whatever our definition of that is — and therefore we broadcast it and document it for everyone to see.

I’m a big believer in the idea that these applications are not so much representations, but highlight reels. They highlight the good. We don’t see the “behind-the-scenes” or the bad moments that people experience — no one wants to showcase that. 

But I think we have to remind ourselves that those moments do exist for everyone. 

I’ve been to plenty of events where I have witnessed the “behind-the-scenes” work that goes into capturing an experience. Staging a photo, retaking it multiple times across multiple angles to make it look like it was taken completely effortlessly and as a natural occurrence for all involved.

It probably wasn’t.

This is what contributes to our FOMO. We see experiences that we wish we were having or that lead us to question why we are not having them ourselves. They are not full pictures, but mere glimpses into others’ lives. 

I encourage more people to keep moments to themselves —  it’s totally validating in our now digital world. Not whipping out a phone to share or post is a really refreshing feeling and I challenge more people to do things less “for the ‘gram” and more for themselves.