You may have heard of the acronym, “FOMO,” used primarily by millennials and younger generations today. It means “fear of missing out,” and is defined by Google as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website.”
It’s no secret that social media does function as a “two-edged sword.” On one hand, the expanded opportunities it provides to share the Gospel, stay in contact with loved ones, meet like-minded people, and so much more is astounding.
On the other hand, many folks say that time spent on social media drives them to feel jealousy, FOMO, comparison, and loneliness. As a millennial who also serves on a social media team, I tend to identify with both sides of the “social media argument”—and for me, the question I have to ask myself before logging in is, What is your motive … for posting, liking, commenting, or status checking?
Fear of missing out isn’t a new thing. Jealousy and isolation aren’t unique to social media. They’re a condition of the heart.
“What are the consequences of envy? Loneliness tops the list. Solomon says, ‘Anger is cruel and destroys like a flood, but no one can put up with jealousy!’ (Proverbs 27:4) Who wants to hang out with a jealous fool?”
Perhaps one of the best ways I’m learning to “nip envy in the bud” is to remember what the Lord thinks of me—His child. Max asks:
“Since God is so kind to us, can’t we be a little kinder to ourselves?”
Good question! And, when I embrace the challenge of those words, I’m prompted to show others kindness, too! Max says:
“How kind are you? Which person is the most overlooked or avoided? A shy student? A grumpy employee? And here’s a challenge—what about your enemies? How kind are you to those who want what you want or take what you have? How about the boss who fired you or the wife who left you. Mercy is the deepest gesture of kindness. The Apostle Paul said, ‘Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you!’ (Ephesians 4:32).”
I join the listeners of 1,400 + radio outlets to say thank you to Max for offering biblical insight on daily life through the ministry of UpWords!